Workers at multiple distilleries vote in favour of strike action

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The strikes will impact three separate distilleries. Credit: Getty / Leon Harris
The strikes will impact three separate distilleries. Credit: Getty / Leon Harris

Related tags Beverages

Workers at three Whyte & Mackay distilleries have backed industrial action after opposing a pay offer.

GMB Scotland said that more than 80% of members that voted were in favour of taking strike action, which looks set to impact the Dalmore and Invergordon distilleries in Easter Ross and the Tamnavulin distillery in Speyside.

The result of the formal ballot confirms the result of a previous consultative vote, which revealed “strong opposition”​ among members to a pay offer made by Whyte & Mackay.

In response, GMB Scotland described the offer as “an insult”​ and argued that the “whisky maker’s success has been built on the skill and commitment of workers”.

“The offer of 6% to 7% does not match inflation over the last year and is effectively a pay cut,”​ added the union.

Lesley-Anne MacAskill, GMB Scotland organiser in the Highlands, said that nearly 82% of members that voted across the three distilleries backed industrial action in the ballot, with a turnout of more than 80%.

The union expects to serve formal notice of strike action to take place in June 2024, unless Whyte & Mackay can provide a new offer that is acceptable to its members.

MacAskill said: “The support for industrial action at Whyte & Mackay is overwhelming but unsurprising. Our members’ work has driven the company to record-breaking profits but has not been recognised or fairly rewarded in pay negotiations.

“Whyte & Mackay is celebrating unprecedented commercial success while our member continue to endure a cost of living crisis while being paid less than workers across the industry. The company should consider the results of this ballot and the clear determination of our members to take action in support of a fair pay award and improve its offer. If it does not, industrial action is now inevitable."

In response, a spokesperson for Whyte & Mackay told Food Manufacture: “We have received formal notification from GMB of their intention to strike. We are disappointed that despite dialogue and a revised award of 6.8%, we have failed to reach agreement.

"As a business we firmly believe that our pay proposal is a fair and competitive offer. We believe that there is a route forward without the need for strike action and we remain committed to work to achieve that through dialogue with GMB. In the event of strike taking place we have plans in place to mitigate disruption and ensure continued business operation in order to minimise impact to our customers.”

Meanwhile, impending strikes by workers employed by Amcor Packaging in Workington have been suspended after an improved pay offer was put forward.

Industrial action scheduled for 29 May, 1 June and 2 June has been suspended while Union the union members vote on the new offer.

In other news, Brockmans Gin has appointed a new managing director, while Hain Celestial has named its head of global impact.

Related topics People & Skills Drinks

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast