WORKERS at a Scottish whisky distiller will vote on strike action after talks on pay collapsed.

Staff at Chivas Brothers, represented by GMB Scotland, have overwhelmingly backed industrial action in consultative ballots and a formal vote is scheduled to take place.

The distiller is best known for its Chivas Regal whisky brand, but also produces Glenlivet, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.

The company previously refused to revise a wage rise of 6.4% to staff despite seeing an increase in sales.

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GMB Scotland organiser David Hume said the offer was unacceptable, stating it is “no surprise” it was refused by workers.

He said: “Our members are being asked to accept a pay rise that is below the rate of inflation while reading how the owners are celebrating some of the highest sales ever recorded.

“Sales of the whisky made in Scotland are booming around the world but the workers making it are told they must accept an effective pay cut in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis?

“It is no surprise our members have refused that offer and are united in their determination to take the action necessary to secure an offer that fairly reflects the value of their work.”

The company employs about 1600 workers across Scotland, including at the Kilmalid bottling plant in Dumbarton, Strathclyde Grain Distillery, Glenlivet Distillery and other maturation sites and distilleries in Speyside, Clydebank and Ayrshire.

GMB Scotland said 97% of its members backed strike action in the consultative ballot.

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Alongside fellow union Unite, GMB will formally ballot its members.

The unions will serve notice of the strike action vote just a few weeks after the company reported a 17% increase in net sales, taking sales totals to a 10-year-high.

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: “Chivas Brothers prides itself on being a longstanding Scottish employer, committed to its people and the communities it calls home. We have, and will continue to, reward our people competitively, while responsibly managing our business for the years ahead.

"We firmly believe that our offer strikes the right balance between ensuring our salaries remain highly competitive in the context of a normalising business environment, and enabling us to build a successful and sustainable future, for the long-term – as evidenced by our recent investments in distillery expansions and decarbonisation, site safety and our communities across Scotland."