Socialist Worker

Two cheers from pickets for deal to end the strike

by Alan Thomson
Issue No. 1915

STRIKE ACTION taken by the workers at the Edrington Famous Grouse whisky factory in Glasgow has won a 3.5 percent pay rise each year for the next three years.

If inflation is greater, workers will get that instead. Forty one temporary jobs have been made permanent as well.

The workers in the GMB union at the plant went on strike for three days two weeks ago.

Seventy new flexible working staff were taken on after the decision to ballot for strikes was taken, but they joined the action too.

The strike also won support from van drivers, who turned back at picket lines despite getting letters from managers warning them not to.

There was extensive and lively picketing during the strike, a sign of the tremendous determination to win.

The plant was due to strike again on Thursday and Friday last week, but workers voted 147 to 119 to accept an improved offer.

The action has forced management to agree that there will be no enforcement of changes without consultation with the workforce.

The close vote clearly puts pressure on the company to keep its side of the bargain.

“We could have got more if we’d stuck it out for longer and kept up the pressure,” said one worker, Eddie.

The upgrading of 41 temporary contracts to permanent posts seems to have played a big role in convincing the majority of workers to accept the deal.

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Sat 21 Aug 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1915
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