Workers at whisky giant Chivas Brothers' plant in Beith will vote on strike action after pay talks collapsed.

Members of GMB Scotland and sister unions have already overwhelmingly backed industrial action in consultative ballots and a formal vote will now take place.

The North Ayrshire whisky maturation plant, known as the 'Beith Bonds', currently employs around 22 workers.

The vote is being called after the multinational producer of global brands including Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, Ballantine's and Royal Salute refused to revise a pay offer of 6.4 per cent despite surging sales.

David Hume, GMB Scotland organiser, said the offer was unacceptable when Chivas and French parent company, Pernod Ricard, are reporting unprecedented sales of whisky around the world.

He said: “Our members are being asked to accept a pay rise that is below the rate of inflation while reading how the owners are celebrating some of the highest sales ever recorded.

“Sales of the whisky made in Scotland are booming around the world but the workers making it are told they must accept an effective pay cut in the middle of a cost of living crisis?

“It is no surprise our members have refused that offer and are united in their determination to take the action necessary to secure an offer that fairly reflects the value of their work.”

Chivas employs around 1,600 workers in Scotland, including at the Kilmalid bottling plant in Dumbarton, the Strathclyde Grain Distillery in Glasgow, the Glenlivet Distillery in Moray, and other maturation sites and distilleries in Speyside and Clydebank as well as the Beith warehouses.

GMB Scotland said 97 per cent of members had backed strike action in the consultative ballot with the turnout just short of 100 per cent. It will, along with Unite, now ballot members formally.

The unions will serve notice of the industrial action vote just weeks after the company reported a 17 per cent increase in net sales, taking total sales to a 10-year high with sales surging by 30 per cent in booming international markets including India, China and Japan.

Meanwhile, it emerged Scotch accounted for more than a fifth of the French parent company’s sales last year which rose by 10 per cent to £10.5 billion.

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: “Chivas Brothers prides itself on being a longstanding Scottish employer, committed to its people and the communities it calls home.

"We have, and will continue to, reward our people competitively, while responsibly managing our business for the years ahead.

"We firmly believe that our offer strikes the right balance between ensuring our salaries remain highly competitive in the context of a normalising business environment, and enabling us to build a successful and sustainable future, for the long-term – as evidenced by our recent investments in distillery expansions and decarbonisation, site safety and our communities across Scotland."