Unions advise workers to accept Diageo pay offer

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Diageo’s counter offer of 3% for this year, backdated to July, has been accepted by unions
Diageo’s counter offer of 3% for this year, backdated to July, has been accepted by unions
Trade unions GMB and Unite are recommending their members accept a pay offer from Diageo, following the suspension of strike action this week.

A ballot of both unions’ members on a two-year agreement with the drinks company is expected to start next week.

A programme of strike action had been planned to start on Tuesday 17 September and extend to Friday 27 ​September, following a collapse in pay talks with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). The talks collapsed after Diageo refused to increase its pay offer from 2.8%.

However, on Tuesday, Diageo made a counter offer of 3% for this year, which would be backdated to July.

Retail price index increases

It has also been proposed that salary increases be fixed to the retail price index for the following year, with a provision for performance-related pay to be introduced for staff in year two.

Both parties have also committed to talks to agree a new ‘collective agreement’ for future years.

GMB Scotland organiser Keir Greenaway and Unite Scotland officer Stevie Deans said: “We are pleased that, on the brink of strike action, Diageo tabled an offer that we feel merits our members’ consultation.

A two-year commitment

“The offer is a two-year commitment on pay and also sets out a time-frame for the negotiation of a new collective agreement. 

“Our strike action is now suspended while a full consultative ballot of our members takes place on the offer.” 

A Diageo spokesperson said: “Our improved offer has been recommended for acceptance by both the GMB and Unite unions and strike action has been suspended.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement on a good, fair offer that ensures our employees can receive an increase on their pay while maintaining the competitiveness of our operations.”

Last month, 80.5% of GMB’s near-1,000 members supported strike action​ in response to the breakdown in pay talks.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Drinks

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