The GMB trade union has welcomed Scottish Parliamentary support for its campaign against Diageo’s proposed pension changes.
With a two week industrial action ballot currently underway, Central Scotland MSP Richard Leonard has tabled a motion calling on the drinks giant to reverse its plans to close a final salary scheme and “lifestyle” pension plan for new entrants.
GMB has criticised Diageo for failing to protect workers’ pensions after the firm recently increased its operating profits to £2.8 billion and CEO Ivan Menezes was awarded a 12 per cent pay increase, taking his maximum earnings to £8.8 million.
Diageo said the review was about finding a “long-term sustainable solution on pensions which manages risk and costs”.
GMB Scotland Organiser Louise Gilmour said: “Diageo is happy to significantly increase executive pay in the wake of billions of pounds of profit but they won’t protect the pensions of the workforce who have contributed massively towards the success of the business.
“This is another example of the obscene disparity between CEO remuneration and the ordinary worker and if there is one company that can most certainly afford to sustain decent pension arrangements for its workers then it’s Diageo.
“Richard Leonard’s intervention is warmly welcomed because we need to highlight in the Scottish Parliament that fat-cat pay and cuts impositions by multi-national companies remain prevalent in Scotland.
“This is simple question of fairness. Diageo can more than afford to help pay for a decent pension for its workers and we are calling for them to lift their cuts agenda and get back round the negotiating table.”
A spokesman for Diageo said: “We have been in touch with Mr Leonard’s office and we are happy to engage with any stakeholders.
“We also remain committed to engaging with our people and their representatives and to returning to the consultation process we have been engaged in for the past nine months.”