Workers accuse Dewar’s of withholding pay rise, trigger strike vote

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The workers state that Dewar's did not issue the agreed pay rise in full. Credit: Getty / Leon Harris
The workers state that Dewar's did not issue the agreed pay rise in full. Credit: Getty / Leon Harris

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GMB Scotland members working for John Dewar & Sons are set to vote on whether to start industrial action.

The ballot was launched after workers at the whisky maker accused managers of “unfairly withholding a pay rise from colleagues”, ​which left 17 employees without an “agreed 6.9% pay rise”.

Instead, GMB Scotland claim that the workers were given half the rise with the rest being made up with a one-off bonus.

Gary Cook, GMB Scotland senior organiser in engineering and manufacturing, said that the issue only came to light following the conclusion of negotiations with Dewar's and when an agreement had been reached.

“Our members have some grave concerns about that and it is easy to understand why," ​Cook continued.

"They had only narrowly voted to accept this rise before discovering some colleagues would not receive it in full. Negotiations must proceed in a spirit of trust and transparency and for an issue like this to arise at such a late stage can only damage that trust.

“Of course, the 17 workers should be given the same rise as their colleagues but this is also about trust between workers and management and for negotiations to be carried out in good faith. Managers need to understand the importance of trust and protect it.”

Dewar’s employs around 300 workers across five distilleries in Scotland and has been owned by multinational drinks firm Bacardi since 1998.

Food Manufacture has reached out to Dewar’s for comment.

In other news, a farming partnership in Surrey has been fined £36k after a worker was crushed underneath hay bales in its barn and sustained serious injuries.

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