UNITE has confirmed that Scottish whisky workers have overwhelmingly accepted an improved pay offer from Chivas Brothers.

We previously told how hundreds of workers were to take strike action during the busy festive period amid a dispute over pay and conditions.

More than 500 members of the union Unite, as well as GMB members, had planned to walk out in a series of 24-hour stoppages at various Chivas Brothers facilities.

However, Unite has confirmed that its workers have now agreed a new deal which consists of a 6.4% pay rise effective from July 1, 2023, along with a one-off £500 payment.

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In year two, the pay increase will consist of the average inflation figure over the course of the year running until July 2024.

Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It was only down to the fact that our 500-strong membership at Chivas Brothers were prepared to fight and take strike action that the company came back to the negotiating table.

“The pay deal is another example of Unite delivering better jobs, pay and conditions for its members.”

Unite is the main union at the company representing workers at the Kilmalid, Dalmuir, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries as well as the Dumbuck warehouse facility.

Chivas Brothers employs around 1500 workers in Scotland with the company producing a wide variety of premier brands.

Unite’s industrial officer Andy Brown said: “Unite has delivered a significant improvement to the pay packets of our Chivas Brothers membership.

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“The new two-year deal will help them cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis. We are pleased that we have negotiated an offer which has been overwhelmingly accepted by the membership bringing the dispute to an end.”

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: “We are pleased that following the latest ballot, employees covered by bargaining agreements have now voted to accept our revised proposal, which avoids unnecessary strike action.

"The new deal includes an acceptance of our original pay proposal and enhanced benefits, along with the security of a two-year agreement.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with all our employees to deliver our main business objective, which is the continued supply of our world-renowned whiskies to consumers all over the world.”