Employees at a Scottish whiskey distillery will vote on strike action after pay talks collapsed.
Chivas Brothers workers, represented by GMB Scotland, have overwhelmingly supported industrial action in consultative votes and a formal vote is planned.
Chivas Brothers is best known for its Chivas Regal whiskey brand, but also produces Glenlivet, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.
The company previously refused to revise a 6.4% wage increase for its employees despite reporting an increase in sales.
It is no surprise that our members declined this offer, and they are united in their determination to take the necessary actions to receive an offer that fairly reflects the value of their work
GMB Scotland organizer David Hume said the offer was unacceptable and said it was “no surprise” it was rejected by workers.
He said: “Our members are being asked to accept a pay rise that is below inflation, while at the same time reading how the owners are celebrating some of the highest sales ever recorded.”
“Sales of Scottish-made whiskey are booming around the world, but the workers who make it are being told they must accept an effective pay cut amid a cost of living crisis?
“It is no surprise that our members have rejected this offer and are united in their determination to take the necessary actions to receive an offer that fairly reflects the value of their work.”
The company employs around 1,600 people across Scotland, including at the Kilmalid bottling plant in Dumbarton, Strathclyde Grain Distillery, Glenlivet Distillery and other aging sites and distilleries in Speyside, Clydebank and Ayrshire.
GMB Scotland said 97% of its members supported strike action in the consultation vote.
Together with fellow union Unite, GMB will formally elect its members.
Unions will announce the strike vote just weeks after the company reported a 17% increase in net sales, bringing total sales to their highest level in 10 years.
A spokesperson for Chivas Brothers said: “Chivas Brothers is proud to be a long-standing Scottish employer committed to its people and communities. We have rewarded our employees competitively and will continue to do so as we continue to manage our business responsibly in the years ahead.
“We believe our offer strikes the right balance between ensuring our salaries remain highly competitive and the opportunity to build a successful and sustainable future in the long term – such as our recent investments in distillery expansion and decarbonisation, site security and ours Communities occupy.” across Scotland.”