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Union promises ‘summer of strikes’ at Whyte & Mackay

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

GMB Scotland has promised a 'summer of strikes' if negotiations fail with Whyte & Mackay
GMB Scotland has promised a 'summer of strikes' if negotiations fail with Whyte & Mackay
GMB Scotland has promised a ‘summer of strikes’ for whisky producer Whyte & Mackay, after pay negotiations stalled with the union.

Workers voted in favour of industrial action last month​, which will take place across Dalmore and Invergordon distilleries, in Easter Ross, and Tamnavulin, in Speyside.

The union served notice with management that the first strike will take place on Monday 24 June, after which 11 days of strike action will follow in July before a two-week walkout in August.

Summer of strikes

Lesley-Anne MacAskill, GMB Scotland organiser in the Highlands, said: “We told Whyte & Mackay today to expect a summer of strike action with our members united and determined their work is fairly recognised.

“While Whyte & Mackay celebrate commercial success, our members continue to be paid less than other workers in the industry. Enough is enough. The company can be in no doubt our members are prepared for a summer of industrial action to win a fair pay rise.”

Industrial action was backed 82% of members in a ballot with a turnout of more than 80%. The union rejected the distiller’s pay offer of 6-7%, which it claimed did not match inflation of the last year and was effectively a pay cut.

Further talks

“Further talks have taken place in the hope of a fair resolution to this dispute but, if agreement cannot be reached, our members are united and determined to take whatever action is necessary to have their work and value to the company properly recognised,”​ MacAskill added.

Meanwhile, planned strike action by Morrisons warehouse staff has been called off​, ​after the supermarket chain submitted a new renumeration package via trade union Unite.

About 1,000 workers were prepared to walk out from 13 to 16 June over proposed changes to their pension contributions. This followed a previous round of strikes that took place in May.

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