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Drinks Giant Strike Ballot Launched

Monday, October 31, 2016

GMB Scotland launch strike action ballot against drinks giant Diageo

GMB Scotland has today (Monday 30 October) served notice to drinks giant Diageo that it will undertake an industrial action ballot of its Scottish membership over the company’s plans to cut pensions.

Diageo  - who recently reported operating profits of over £2.8 billion - moved to impose the closure of its long-standing final salary scheme and will also close its ‘lifestyle plan’ scheme to new entrants, while introducing a new and inferior defined contribution scheme.

GMB and its sister trade union Unite had entered into prolonged negotiations at ACAS to resolve the dispute but a consultative ballot of the unions’ respective memberships comprehensively rejected the company’s ‘final offer’.

The ballot will run from Monday 7 November until Noon, Monday 21 November.

GMB Scotland Organiser Louise Gilmour said: “Diageo’s ability to help fund a decent pension that delivers dignity in retirement for our members is unquestionable but their willingness to pay is highly questionable. 

We have engaged in extensive and painstaking negotiations with Diageo at ACAS, presenting alternative proposals for the sustainability of the pension schemes while making every reasonable effort possible to avoid a dispute.

But we have to draw a line in the sand and show that we are not prepared to accept a race to the bottom on pensions while the company makes billions off the back of our hard-working members who have contributed massively to the success of this business.

It’s a question of fairness and there is no question that Diageo can afford to provide a decent pension for its workers.”

Ends

Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Louise Gilmour on 07921 289739 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.

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