New pay offer from Chivas Brothers sees strike action suspended

Threatened with a ‘rolling programme’ of strikes, Chivas Brothers has brought forward a new pay offer for its workers, which will now be put to the company’s  500 Unite union members in a consultative ballot.

Pending the result of that ballot, the 24-hour stoppages planned for various Chivas Brothers facilities between Monday 11 to Thursday 14 December have been suspended.

Unite is the main union at the company representing workers at the Kilmalid, Dalmuir, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries, and Dumbuck warehouse facility, among others. That membership had supported taking strike action by 91.2%.

Unite industrial officer Andy Brown said: “Unite has been in intense negotiations with Chivas Brothers since we announced our rolling programme of strike action. Following the latest round of talks we have agreed to put a new pay offer to our 500-strong Chivas Brothers membership for consideration.

“Unite has taken the decision to suspend all forthcoming industrial action until our membership has had the opportunity to vote on the merits of this new offer.”

Unite members previously rejected a 6.4% pay offer by 97%, noting that inflation stood at 11.3% when the workers’ pay increase would have been implemented.

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: “While the results of the official ballot are still pending, we are pleased that constructive talks have enabled us to re-engage with the unions on our original proposal, and reach a mutually-agreeable position that avoids unnecessary strike action and limits the long-term impact of this dispute on our team.

“Our offer reflects our ongoing commitment to sharing our success throughout the company, while recognising the normalising business and economic environment for the year ahead.

“We are a resilient business. Reaching this agreement means we can now continue to focus on our main business objective, which is the continued supply of our world-renowned whiskies to consumers all over the world.”