Workers at top whisky firm vote to accept 12% pay boost

The pay rise will see workers based at the firm receive a boost to their annual income from £2,450 up to £4,900.

Workers at Edrington whisky distillery vote to accept 12% pay boost to end wages dispute with bosses iStock

Staff at one of Scotland’s top whisky companies have voted to accept a 12% pay offer and end a dispute over wages.

Unite members at Drumchapel-based Edrington’s operations centre and bottling site have voted to accept a pay boost of up to £4,900 over the course of the year to end a dispute over new shift patterns and unsociable hours.

Around 40 Unite members including engineers, electricians and boilermen will receive a backdated 3% pay rise for January, with a further 9% to come in April.

The pay rise will see workers based at the firm receive a boost to their annual income from £2,450 up to £4,900.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Unite has achieved a great deal for our members at Edrington Distillers.

“The 12% pay rise over the year means that some workers will have their income boosted by up to £4,900. Unite does what it says on the tin, we deliver better jobs, pay and conditions for our members.”

It comes as 300 workers at Edrington and Macallan, who produce Famous Grouse, Highland Park as well as the high-end premium brand The Macallan, are undergoing a ballot on walkouts over a failure to agree a new shift allowance.

Members of the GMB union at two manufacturing sites, in Glasgow and near Dufftown in Moray, are being balloted until March 22, with any agreed industrial action possibly taking place in early April.

Edrington is responsible for producing some of the world’s topmost whiskies, and increased turnover to £140.6m in 2022 up from £101.2m the year before.

The Drumchapel plant’s parent company, The Edrington Group, boosted profits for the financial year to £177.3m in 2022 up from £146.2m in 2021.

Unite industrial officer Graham McNab added: “The dispute at Edrington Distillers in Drumchapel is now over through this great deal for workers.

“Our members were determined to get what they deserved and in line with industry standards.

“We are pleased the company seen sense before the dispute escalated to industrial action and this should be a lesson for future negotiations.”

A spokesperson for Edrington said: “Edrington works hard to be a good employer and to ensure that all our people share in the success of the business, both through their wages, bonuses and also through an industry-leading suite of benefits.

“We are pleased to have agreed a settlement as part of our planned negotiation process with both Unite and the GMB trade unions.

“During this negotiation we were also able to resolve the dispute over shift premiums. The rise in base pay represents an excellent settlement that is well ahead of average wage rises across the UK and across all sectors.

“It is regrettable that the trade unions did not engage with our offer of a wage settlement at Acas, which could have avoided the uncertainty that ballots have caused to our people.”

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