Engineers set to strike at Diageo Leven plant

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Credit: Getty Images/lucentius
Credit: Getty Images/lucentius

Related tags labour shortage Protest Beverages Engineering Alcoholic beverage

A series of strikes are said to be scheduled over the next few months as shift engineers at Diageo's Leven plant protest over pay.

Diageo shift engineers based at its Leven site are set to strike in a dispute over wages, which Unite alleges could see them losing 6% of their pay despite positive profits for the whisky giant.

Unite has said the stoppages will begin tomorrow (14 Jan) and are set to last for 48 hours, with multiple strikes planned over the course of the next few months (ending 3 April).

According to the trade union, the talks are over a lower rate of pay for new starters which it claims were introduced without consultation.

Diageo, however, says this is not the case.

A Diageo spokesperson told Food Manufacturer: “This dispute is with ten of our weekend shift engineers in relation to the number of night shifts required and associated shift premiums. We are not introducing a lower rate of pay for new starters.

We are proud of the pay and benefits packages we provide to our people across all our sites, but unfortunately, this group of ten employees have rejected our proposal.”

In a statement, Unite regional officer Bob Macgregor, said: “Diageo is one of the most profitable companies in the UK yet they are proposing to cut our members’ pay which is completely unacceptable. The reason why Diageo is able to generate billions in profits is because of the skilled work of its workforce. Our engineering members who keep the bottling plant safe to operate at Leven have been left with no choice but to take a stand against Diageo. The strike action will continue until they get what they deserve.”

However, Diageo says it has “well developed contingency plans in place to ensure the site can continue to operate safely and as planned”.

The beverage producer continued: “We remain committed to seeking a resolution to this dispute and are open to further discussions.”

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