Diageo redundancy package improves following strike threats

Diageo workers have secured themselves better redundancy packages under future restructuring plans, following threats to strike in early 2010.

Hundreds of workers are expected to be made redundant next year as the drinks company forces through a restructuring programme.

Following the threat of strikes, and after members of the local community sent 450,000 e-mails to Diageo shareholders appealing for help for the families affected, the company has agreed to increase termination payments by £4,000 to £9,000 per person.

Diageo will also remove its previous conditions that the payment would be based on productivity and attendance, while the company pension scheme will be opened up to allow part of the redundancy package to be paid into workers’ pension pots, Unite has reported.

Workers at Diageo plants voted on the deal and accepted the offer by almost four to one.

Jennie Formby, Unite union’s national officer for the food and drinks sector, said: “The final package is one that provides benefits for members that are second to none. But we firmly believe that without the courage and determination of the workers, and the excellent leadership of their union stewards, we would not have seen any movement from the company.

“The fighting spirit the workers demonstrated throughout the whole campaign let Diageo know that it simply could not walk away from these communities without fair and proper compensation.

“We have advised Diageo management of the result and also confirmed that our campaign is now formally at an end.”

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