Chivas work­ers win fight for equal pay

Ac­tion called off af­ter four-year wage agree­ment

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Jenny Foulds

A long-run­ning dis­pute be­tween Dum­bar­ton whisky work­ers and their em­ployer Chivas has come to an end.

Bosses at the Kil­malid plant and union Unite agreed a four-year pay deal last week fol­low­ing months of talks and strike ac­tion ear­lier this month.

The deal will see pay rates be­tween work­ers at Kil­malid and the com­pany’s Pais­ley site har­monised by next month. The com­pany was crit­i­cised dur­ing the dis­pute for “gross wage dis­par­i­ties” be­tween staff at the two sites.

The Chivas site in Pais­ley will be merged with Kil­malid next year.

Lau­rent La­cas­sagne, chair­man and CEO at Chivas Broth­ers, said: “On Au­gust 17 we met union rep­re­sen­ta­tives at our Kil­malid site and are happy to con­firm that we have reached an agree­ment whereby pay rates be­tween Kil­malid and Pais­ley will be har­monised from Septem­ber 2017.

“The de­ci­sion fol­lows a pe­riod of open and trans­par­ent ne­go­ti­a­tion over these past few weeks and we’re happy that by work­ing to­gether we have achieved a suc­cess­ful res­o­lu­tion and that we now have a joint agree­ment on pay that will take us through to 2020.”

The deal will see Dum­bar­ton work­ers re­ceive a 1.9 per­cent in­crease to base pay, back­dated to Jan­uary.

The union pre­vi­ously re­jected a 1.9 per­cent pay of­fer, say­ing it would still have left work­ers out of pocket.

But last week the deal was agreed, with Gor­don Casey of Unite Scot­land say­ing it was an “am­i­ca­ble res­o­lu­tion”.

He said: “Fol­low­ing a mass meet­ing of work­ers which took place at the Chivas site at Kil­malid, both sides in­volved in the dis­pute have reached an am­i­ca­ble res­o­lu­tion.

“All fu­ture in­dus­trial ac­tion re­lated to this dis­pute is there­fore can­celled.

“Unite wish to ex­tend its ap­pre­ci­a­tion to its mem­bers for the man­ner in which they have con­ducted them­selves dur­ing this dis­pute and we look for­ward to a re­turn to an har­mo­nious work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the com­pany mov­ing for­ward.”

Dum­bar­ton MSP Jackie Baillie wel­comed the an­nounce­ment, adding: “I worked to­gether with all par­ties and I am en­cour­aged that they got back round the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble and that the dis­pute has now been re­solved.

“I am de­lighted that pay har­mon­i­sa­tion has been brought for­ward from Jan­uary 2018 to Septem­ber 2017, en­sur­ing the loyal and ded­i­cated work­force in Dum­bar­ton are paid the same as their col­leagues in Pais­ley.”

Picket line Union mem­bers went on strike this month

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