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Strike Action Imminent In Dispute Over Diageo Pension Cuts

Monday, November 21, 2016

Workers at the company vote for industrial action today.

Drinks manufacturing giant Diageo will be hit by strikes in the run up to Christmas after GMB Scotland members voted strongly for industrial action today (Monday 21 November) over cuts to their pensions.

Workers in Diageo’s Scottish operations - including bottling plants at Leven and Shieldhall and distilleries across the country - voted for strike action by a majority of 63 per cent and action short of strikes by a majority of 69.7 per cent after a two week ballot.

Diageo recently increased its operating profits to an eye-watering £2,841 million while CEO Ivan Menezes has been awarded a 12 per cent pay increase, taking his maximum earnings to a remarkable £8.8 million.

Despite this significant growth, Diageo is targeting savings of £30 million a year from its workers’ pensions by closing its ‘final salary’ scheme and also its ‘lifestyle’ plan to new entrants.

GMB Scotland Organiser Louise Gilmour said:

“Our members have sent a strong message to Diageo that the company needs to think again if it wants to avoid damaging strikes across Scotland.

"Diageo is happy to significantly increase executive pay in the wake of billions of pounds of profit but they won’t protect the pensions of the workforce who have contributed massively towards the success of the business.

"It’s another example of the obscene disparity between executive pay and the ordinary worker and if there is one company that can most certainly afford to sustain decent pension arrangements for its workers then it’s Diageo.

"It’s a question of fairness and Diageo can clearly go further to protect the pensions of their workers.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

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

List of Diageo brands:

Gin: Tanqueray, Gordon's, Booth's.

Rum: Captain Morgan, Ron Zacapa, Cacique.

Tequila: Don Julio.

Vodka: Smirnoff, Ketel One, Cîroc.

Whisk(e)y: Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit, Seagram's, George Dickel, Caol Ila, Talisker, Lagavulin, Oban, J&B, Bell's, Buchanan's, Cardhu.

Other: Baileys, Guinness.

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