Strike is looming at whisky firm as ballot nears an end

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Union bosses have welcomed some high profile support as the ballot for proposed strike action at Diageo entered its final week.

GMB Scotland members employed by the global drinks giant, which has warehouses in Dennyloanhead and Grangemouth, have been taking part in a ballot for industrial action from November 7 over the company’s plans to cut pensions.

The ballot comes to an end at noon on Monday and the union has now gained support from Westminster with Glasgow South West MP Chris Stephens tabling an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on Diageo executives to reverse moves to close the workers’ final salary scheme and also their lifestyle plan to new entrants.

According to the GMB, Diageo recently increased its operating profits to over £2.8 billion, while CEO Ivan Menezes has been awarded a 12 per cent pay increase, taking his maximum earnings to £8.8 million.

Despite this significant growth, Diageo is still targeting savings of £30 million a year from its workers’ pensions.

Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “Diageo is happy to significantly increase CEO pay in the wake of billions of pounds of profit but they won’t protect the workers’ pensions who have contributed massively towards the success of the business.

“That’s why Chris Stephens’ EDM is timely because it highlights yet again the gross disparity between CEO remuneration and that of the ordinary worker.”