Whisky maker in ‘revised offer’ to staff ahead of planned strikes over pay

Whisky maker Whyte & Mackay has made a “revised offer” to employees as it seeks to avert industrial action at three of its distilleries.

GMB Scotland members at the company’s Dalmore and Invergordon distilleries in Ross and Cromarty and Tamnavulin in Moray voted to walk out after receiving the previous pay offer, which they described as an “insult” at a time, they said, the company was making record profits.

The walkouts are due to begin on Monday June 24, followed by 11 days of strikes in July and a further two weeks in August.

However after further talks between the two sides this week, the company said it has now made a “revised offer” in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

Kieran Healey-Ryder, head of communication and corporate affairs at Whyte & Mackay, said: “Negotiations continue. Trade union partners met with us this week for further extended discussion and subsequently a revised offer has been submitted to them for consideration by their members.

“In the meantime we have prepared plans to mitigate impact to suppliers and customers should strike action take place.”

Lesley-Anne MacAskill, GMB Scotland’s organiser in the Highlands, said the offer did not “fairly reflect” the value of workers at the three distilleries, and that industrial action will “proceed as planned” if they reject it.

“We have received a revised offer from Whyte & Mackay which our members at all three distilleries will now vote on,” she said.

“We do not believe this offer fairly reflects the value of their skills, experience and commitment. If the offer is rejected by our members, their industrial action will proceed as planned.”

Whyte & Mackay, which is owned by Philippine-based Emperador, operates Dalmore distillery at Alness in Ross and Cromarty; the nearby Invergordon grain distillery; Fettercairn in Aberdeenshire; Tamnavulin near Tomnavoulin, Moray; and Jura on the Hebridean island.