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Diageo's Scottish workers to go on strike after pay talks fail again

Sept 17 (Reuters) - More than 1,000 workers at Diageo's Scottish distilleries will go on strike on Tuesday after last-minute talks over wage hikes between the company and unions failed again on Monday. Members of Scotland's GMB and Unite unions told Reuters that "absolutely zero progress" was made during "last-ditch" talks with the drinks giant to improve their pay offer above 2.8%, ahead of the 10-day rolling strike action called by the unions, starting 2100 GMT on Tuesday. The unions are demanding pay hikes of 5%, Reuters reported last week. The unions have previously said that the strike action at the company's Cameronbridge, Leven and Shieldhall sites by its members, who make up half of Diageo's Scottish workforce, would bring bottling, maturation and distilling operations to a "standstill." Diageo exports 80% of the whiskey produced at its 29 distilleries in Scotland to 180 countries. The company, which is the single biggest exporter of whiskey from Scotland, produces for brands including Johnnie Walker, Lagavulin and Talisker at the three sites.

Diageo has said it has strong contingency plans in place to deal with the strikes. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)