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Whyte & Mackay Distillery Workers To Strike Over Pay Row

Distillery workers

Distillery workers at whisky maker Whyte & Mackay are set to strike next week after rejecting the company's latest pay offer. 

The GMB union announced that staff will walk out at three Highland distilleries on Monday, June 24.

It’ll be followed by 11 more days of action in July and a two-week walkout in August. 

This decision came after 84 percent of union members at the Dalmore and Invergordon distilleries in Ross and Cromarty and Tamnavulin in Moray voted against the pay offer, with a 90 percent voter turnout.

GMB: "The company’s rush to suggest distilleries are somehow less important than bottling and distribution operations was insulting and inflammatory"

The GMB union criticised Whyte & Mackay for downplaying the impact of the strike, which they claim angered members. 

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GMB Highlands organiser, Lesley-Ann MacAskill said: “The company’s rush to suggest distilleries are somehow less important than bottling and distribution operations was insulting and inflammatory.

“It should instead have been rushing to offer fair pay to our member because without their skill and experience there would be nothing to bottle and nothing to distribute."

According to the GMB, the pay offer ranged between 6 to 7 percent.

While Whyte & Mackay staff at the company's bottling and distribution sites in Grangemouth accepted the offer, those at the Highland distilleries did not.

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Whyte & Mackay emphasised their priority in resolving the dispute.

A company spokesperson added: "We do not recognise the substance of the statement regarding the negotiations.

"Whyte and Mackay has acted in accordance with legal advice, and approached the negotiation in an open and transparent manner throughout.

"We continue to engage both our trade union partners to reach a sustainable resolution."

This walkout coincides with a similar situation at whisky maker Edrington, where GMB members responsible for producing The Macallan and Famous Grouse are also being balloted on industrial action over an ongoing pay dispute.

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