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Edrington workers accept 12% pay rise

Unite members based at Edrington Distillers have accepted a pay deal worth 12% to end a dispute over new shift patterns and unsociable hours.

Edrington’s portfolio includes Scotch whisky brand The Macallan

The pay rise will see workers located at the Drumchapel-based company in Glasgow, Scotland, receive a boost to their annual income of between £2,450 (US$2,975) and £4,900 (US$5,951).

The agreement comes after the trade union balloted Edrington workers in Glasgow for industrial action last month.

The dispute was over new shift patterns and associated pay introduced in January 2023 for engineers, electricians and boilermen.

The union said the shift pattern changes had meant some workers were starting at the earlier time of 5.30am instead of 7am, with similar time changes for the back shift.

The employees at Edrington had called for a 5% higher shift allowance for unsociable hours for the early shift and back shift in line with other unionised distillery plants.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite has achieved a great deal for our members at Edrington. The 12% pay rise over the year means that some workers will have their income boosted by up to £4,900.”

The deal will see the workers receive a backdated 3% rise to January 2023, with a further 9% to be added from April 2023.

Unite industrial officer Graham McNab added: “The dispute at Edrington 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 has seen sense before the dispute escalated to industrial action, and this should be a lesson for future negotiations.”

GMB Scotland agreement

In addition to the agreement reached with Unite, a vote by more than 300 workers across two Edrington sites, including The Macallan distillery, over a pay dispute for unsociable hours, has just been counted. It is The Spirits Business‘ understanding that the count resulted in ‘a huge majority vote’ to accept Edrington’s offer, details of which have not yet been disclosed.

A spokesperson for Edrington commented: “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.”

Edrington saw its revenue soar by 45% to £821.2 million (US$988.8m) for the year ending 31 March 2022.

Furthermore, Edrington saw increased turnover to £140.6m (US$170.75m) in 2022, up from £101.2 million (US$124.11m) the year before.

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