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GMB Ballot At Diageo

Friday, July 29, 2016

GMB Ballots Members After Cuts To Pensions At Drinks Giant Diageo

Once again we see an employer happy to end its employees’ chance of a decent retirement while bloating its bosses' bank balances says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland has launched a consultative ballot of 1500 members at drinks manufacturer Diageo over cuts to pensions. The new proposals will leave workers considerably worse off costing them a combined total of over £30m per year.

Diageo – the company responsible for a variety of whiskies including Johnnie Walker and Bell’s – plans to close its final salary pension scheme and move workers to a new scheme with reduced terms. New starters will be placed on an inferior scheme all together, which GMB warns is a race to the bottom for Diageo pension provision.

The news follows sales figures released yesterday that showed that Diageo’s like-for-like sales were up 2.9 per cent for the year to June 30th with a profit of over $3bn. Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes singled out the company’s Scotch portfolio as being an area of significant improvement in performance.

The ballot will run for three weeks and will ask GMB members what measures they are willing to take to fight the cuts.

Liz Gordon, GMB regional officer, said “Once again we see an employer happy to end its employees’ chance of a decent retirement while bloating its bosses' bank balances.

It’s only because of the hundreds of hardworking staff employed at Diageo that it has managed to generate such financial successes, and now the company intends to reward their hard work with further cuts to their pensions.

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes has a rewards package that amounts to £3.5m a year including £458,000 in pension contributions and yet when it comes to cuts it’s the workers who are at the sharp end once again.

It’s time to say enough is enough which is why GMB is balloting members to see what action they are willing to take to stop workers paying the price for shameful corporate greed.”

End

Contact: Liz Gordon on 07921 885784 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or press.office@gmb.org.uk

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