Socialist Worker

Diageo workers call off strike after bosses' new offer

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2672

The GMB union gets its placards ready for the strike

The GMB union got its placards ready for the strike


Around 1,500 workers at Diageo plants across Scotland were set to begin ten days of strikes over pay on Tuesday night.

But the action was called off after bosses presented a new offer.

The offer is understood to be a two-year deal with a 3 percent rise this year and an increase in pay next year in line with the retail price index rate as it stands in June 2020.

The Unite and GMB unions said they would now consult their members on the deal.

Workers have previously been offered a rise of a mere 2.5 percent and then 2.8 percent.

Diageo is fantastically profitable, and workers want a rise of 5 percent. A few months ago Diageo revealed annual profits of over £4 billion. This fuelled a £4.5 billion share buy-back that showered money on shareholders.

Insatiable

And chief executive Ivan Menezes grabbed a 30 percent pay rise, taking his package to £11.7 million a year. GMB Scotland organiser Keir Greenaway said, “Strikes are a consequence of insatiable corporate greed.

“Our campaign for a pay deal that beats the cost of living is modest against Diageo’s staggering financial results.

“A huge chunk of Diageo’s success is built on the back of the working class and rural communities that distil, mature, store and bottle their lucrative range of whiskies and white spirits.

“If any business can afford to make work pay for its employees it is Diageo. Instead we have the grotesque spectacle of Menezes and his shareholders carving up the spoils while workers get thrown scraps from the fat cats’ table.

“We aren’t going to leave this unchallenged.”

Diageo produces Johnnie Walker whisky among other brands and has Scotland’s largest grain distillery at Cameronbridge.


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