A second union is to ballot its members working at a Drumchapel whisky plant on possible strike action amid a deepening dispute over new shift patterns and unsociable hours.

Unite members at the Edrington Group's plant on Great Western Road are to be balloted over new work patterns introduced at the site last month.

The Unite move comes after a similar announcement by the GMB union earlier this week.

More than 40 Unite members, including engineers, electricians and boilermen, at the site are to to be asked to vote on industrial action.

A Unite spokesperson told the Post members are demanding a five per cent higher shift allowance for unsociable hours associated with the early shift and back shift at the plant.

However, bosses at Edrington Group say they are disappointed  at the two unions' moves, saying staff have received a pay increase over the last 16 months.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at Edrington Distillers deserve to be getting paid in line with industry standards without having to threaten strike action. 

"The Edrington Group, which owns the Drumchapel plant, is swimming in £177m of profits.

"Any cuts to pay or lower shift allowance rates is totally unacceptable, and we will stand with our members in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Previously, the Post reported that GMB members would be asked a similar question after the company posted strong finanical results last year.

The company disputed aspects of Ms Graham's statement, and insisted there are no plans to reduce pay or staffing levels.

An Edrington Group spokesman said: “We are deeply disappointed that the Unite union has decided to ballot its members on industrial action after a protracted period of negotiation including discussions at ACAS over shift allowances.

"Edrington works hard to be a good employer and to ensure that all our people share in the success of the business.

“There has been no plan to cut pay or shift allowances, and members of the engineering team who have moved from day shift to early shift will see their earnings increase by 26.3 per cent compared with 16 months ago.

"We urge our employees to reject the proposed industrial action and to ask their representatives to work with us to reach a further fair and competitive wage agreement.”

Unite industrial officer Graham McNab added: “The strike ballot at Edrington Distillers in Drumchapel is a reflection of the anger that our members feel at being treated as second class workers in the drinks industry.

"Other well-known distillers are paying the shift allowance rates our members are looking for as a given without the threat of industrial action.” 

“The company has no issue boosting the wallets of their directors, which has increased by over three times in a year up to £5.8m, so why don’t they pay their workers what they deserve?

"Unite wants to urge the company to resolve this dispute - which it can easily do before it escalates to a point where the plant closes.”