Diageo strikes halted after refreshed offer

Strike action has been halted at Diageo’s Scottish distilleries after GMB Scotland and Unite unions settled with the spirits company.

The strikes were due to begin on September 17 in the company’s distilleries and bottling plant as employees threatened to halt operations over pay disagreements. 

In August more than 80% of GMB Scotland members who work at Diageo voted for strike action over a 2.8% pay increase for around 3,000 Scottish employees. 

But Diageo has come up with a new two-year deal, which includes a 3% pay increase in the first year, while year two will have a performance-based scheme. 

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland organiser, and Stevie Deans, United Scotland officer, said in a joint statement: “We are pleased that, on the brink of strike action, Diageo tabled an offer that we feel merits our members’ consultation. The offer is a two-year commitment on pay and also sets out a time frame for the negotiation of a new collective agreement. 

“Our strike action is now suspended while a full consultative ballot of our members takes place on the offer.”

A Diageo spokesperson added: “Following further negotiations, our improved offer has been recommended for acceptance by both the GMB and Unite unions and strike action has been suspended. 

“We are pleased to have reached agreement on a good, fair offer that ensures our employees can receive an increase on their pay while maintaining the competitiveness of our operations.”