Workers at a Clydebank whisky distillery have joined their colleagues across Scotland in voting to take strike action.

Staff at Dalmuir’s Chivas Brothers site have rejected what their union describe as a “real terms pay cut” with fears festive season whisky supplied could be ‘hit hard’ by the move.

However, a Chivas Brothers spokesperson dispelled any fears of Christmas time disruption to stock.

The dispute comes as it is claimed recent Chivas Brothers accounts showed the firm made a £168.5m profit last year.

And Unite, the main union at the company, say Chivas bosses must pay their staff accordingly.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Strike action at Chivas Brothers is inevitable unless the current pay offer is improved.

“Chivas made an eye-watering profit last year, and it can easily afford to offer our members a significantly better offer.

“Unite will back our Chivas Brothers members all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Chivas employs around 1,500 workers in Scotland.

The company produces Scotch whisky premier brands including Chivas Regal, Aberlour, Ballantine's, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet.

Hundreds of members at the Kilmalid, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries, and Dumbuck warehouse facility joined in the vote.

Unite members previously rejected a 6.4 per cent pay offer by 97 per cent and the union warned Chivas Brother on October 17 that it would have ‘no option’ but to ballot its members on strike action unless progress was made in pay negotiations.

Inflation stood at 11.3 per cent when the workers’ pay increase should have been implemented.

Unite industrial officer Andrew Brown, said: “Chivas Brothers are forcing hundreds of our members to choose between a real terms pay cut and strike action.

“The company are doing this while amassing a fortune of dizzying heights on the backs of our members’ hard work.

“Chivas Brothers have a final opportunity to give our members some well-deserved festive cheer or supplies of the company’s premier brands at one of the busiest times of the year will be hit hard.”

Chivas Brothers Limited made a profit after tax of £168.5 million in 2022.

In August, the company further announced that its July 2022 – June 2023 full-year net sales were up 17 per cent taking total sales to a 10-year high.

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed that a slight majority of total employees represented by Unite have voted for strike action.

"As a business, we firmly believe that our pay proposal strikes the right balance in ensuring salaries remain highly competitive in the context of a normalising business and economic environment, as further indicated by this month’s drop in inflation. 

"Our current offer, combined with last year's increase would see salaries increase above the CPI and CPIH inflation averages seen over our last two financial years.

"We remain committed to our proposal and open to continued dialogue to see this matter reach a resolution.

"Should industrial action go ahead, we are prepared to put in place the necessary measures to ensure our continued business operations, minimising any impact to our customers around the world.

"As our end-of-year orders have already shipped, we are confident this ballot result will have no impact on the festive season.”