Diageo to close bottling plant in Quebec

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Trade union, Strike action, Diageo

Diageo plans to close its Dorval bottling plant in Quebec in February 2010 as workers in the UK ballot on strike action.

Since 2003 the Dorval facility has bottled various Smirnoff products for Diageo but the company said the market in Canada is on the decline.

“This is a tough business decision, but one that will help Diageo remain highly competitive in a declining but profitable Ready-To-Drink segment in Canada and help ensure the long-term sustainability of the business and jobs for the future,”​ said Mario Leduc, Diageo bottling head in Canada.

Cost cutting

Following the plant closure, which will affect 65 employees, production will be moved to Delta Beverages in Woodbridge, Ontario. “This will increase efficiencies and significantly lower costs in our supply chain,” ​added Leduc.

The decision to close the doors at the Dorval facility comes months after the company announced plans to shut down several operations on the other side of the Atlantic in Scotland

The Kilmarnock bottling plant and the Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow are both to be closed in a series of cost cutting measures revealed in July that are predicted to save the company $120m annually, and result in a net reduction of 500 jobs.

Industrial action

Last week workers at the Diageo sites in Kilmarnock, Port Dundas and Shieldhall began voting on strike action in an attempt to force the company to reconsider.

Trade union Unite has vocally attacked the restructuring plans. Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for the drink sector, said: “Threatening to impose poverty at a time when people are frightened about their jobs and futures is deeply cynical, and coming from a company which has billions of pounds worth of pure profit sitting in the bank, nothing short of heartless.”

The consultative ballot of the Diageo workers will close on Friday, October 30th.

Related topics: Markets, Diageo

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