Workers at a whisky giant in the Highlands have voted to reject its pay offer and support industrial action.
Whyte & Mackay workers were offered a pay rise of between 5-6% despite the firm recording record profits.
Trade union GMB Scotland said 94% of members are backing industrial action and is calling the offer “an insult”.
The firm employs around 700 workers across Scotland, including Dalmore distillery in Alness and the Invergordon grain distillery.
It is behind whiskies including Tamnavulin, Jura and Dalmore.
Action needed at Whyte & Mackay to secure ‘fair’ pay offer, says union
Lesley-Anne MacAskill, a GMB Scotland organiser in the Highlands, believes workers are ready to do whatever it takes in order to gain a “fair pay offer”.
She said: “It is clear from the result of this ballot that our members are absolutely united in rejecting this offer and determined to take whatever industrial action is necessary to secure a fair pay rise from a company making record profits.
“While managers are celebrating this great commercial success, our members are struggling to make ends meet. It cannot go on.
“Managers must understand the strength of feeling of our members and their determination to have the value of their work properly recognised and secure a fair pay offer.”
GMB Scotland said some colleagues are being forced to use foodbanks as they struggle to make ends meet.
Union claims whisky makers could offer double-digit pay rise
GMB Scotland said workers at the firm are now paid less than staff anywhere else in the industry.
The union also claims the company could afford a double-digit pay increase as business booms.
Whyte & Mackay accounts for 2022 showed a pre-tax profit of £81.3 million – with a 20% increase in pay costing around £6.6m.
The union also said the current offer of between 5% and 6% is “effectively a pay cut”.
A spokesperson for Whyte & Mackay said: “We are currently in pay negotiations with our trade union partners.
“Whilst the recent offer was rejected, negotiations continue.”
Whyte & Mackay saw a major expansion for its Invergordon operations approved in April.
It will build 42 whisky maturation warehouses on agricultural land near Cromarty Firth industrial park.
Plans will be phased over the next five decades, completing the expansion in 2077.
Highland Council planning officers said the whisky warehouses would safeguard Whyte & Mackay’s future as a major employer in the area.
Huge murals installed at Invergordon, which GMB Scotland claims cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, have also been branded a “vanity project” by workers.