Outraged Over ‘Totally Unacceptable’ Pay Cuts, Diageo Whisky Plant Workers Go on Strike
Engineering workers at a Diageo-owned whisky bottling plant in Scotland are striking over a pay dispute, the workers’ union, Unite, said Friday. Unite, the United Kingdom and Ireland’s largest trade union, described the pay dispute as “escalating.”
“Unite’s engineering members at Diageo’s Leven plant have had enough of pay cuts especially as the company’s profits are soaring,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said in a statement. “Diageo recorded £4.4bn in profits – up nearly 20 per cent – directly on the back of our members’ hard work. Yet some of our members are now facing considerable pay cuts when inflation has hit a 45-year high. This is totally unacceptable and we will stand with our members in their fight against corporate greed at Diageo.”
The strike began Friday and was planned to conclude Monday.
The plant is located in Leven, Fife. Workers planned to stop working after becoming disgruntled over shift changes affecting mainly engineering workers that they say will result in a 6% pay cut.
The strike is intended to affect engineering support for the bottling plant, as Unite said it would not be safe to run the plant without the support its striking members provide.
Workers also will hold a protest at noon next Saturday outside of The Johnnie Walker Experience in Edinburgh and next Sunday outside the Diageo Leven bottling plant. Per Unite, the protests are “designed to highlight that some of Unite’s engineering members are set to lose around 6 per cent of their pay when moved to a proposed lower rate of pay.”
In 2021, workers at American whiskey company Heaven Hill went on strike for six weeks.
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