Diageo to cut 100 jobs in Scotland

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:iStock/ronniechua
Pic:iStock/ronniechua
Diageo will make redundancies at its Leven and Shieldhall sites in Scotland as it moves some production to Italy and the US. In response, union GMB Scotland has accused the UK government of ‘gross betrayal’ of workers, having previously called on the government to protect the Scottish drinks manufacturing sector during Brexit.

Workers and trade unions were informed yesterday afternoon that 70 redundancies will be made at Diageo’s Leven plant in Fife, and 35 redundancies will be made at the Shieldhall site, near Glasgow, according to the union.

Diageo is moving selected white spirits production to the Santa Vittoria plant in Italy; and to plants in the US.

GMB Scotland says the job cuts have been made over Brexit concerns. 

Diageo to ‘ensure flexibility for increased competition and external volatility’

Diageo says it remains committed to the sites but has been reviewing its spirits bottling footprint.

A statement from the company says: “Following the disposal of our wine business and the subsequent end of the wine bottling contracts, we have reviewed our spirits bottling footprint to ensure we not only deliver leading performance for both our domestic and export supply chains around the world, but also to strengthen our business for the future. 

“Regrettably, these changes may impact some roles in our European bottling plants towards the end of the year and we will now enter a period of consultation with our employees and their representatives to discuss the proposals in more detail.

“We are committed to our three spirits bottling sites in Europe – two in Scotland and one in Italy. The outcomes of this review will ensure we have the flexibility to respond to increased competition and external volatility, alongside testing and building the capability we need across our global supply chain to grow our brands."

Diageo adds it will do everything it can to mitigate the impact on employees and is entering a period of consultation with employees and representatives.

Union: ‘The UK government has been asleep at the wheel over Brexit’

GMB Scotland says it had previously urged the UK government to consider special measures to protect the Scottish drinks manufacturing sector against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty.

Speaking yesterday, Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “We warned the UK government about the possible impact of Brexit on the future of jobs across our drinks manufacturing sector and about the need for protective measures to safeguard an industry worth billions to the Scottish and UK economies.

"Instead of listening to the real concerns of working people and acting on them, the Tories are off on the election trail asking voters to back them over Brexit: but the harsh realities of the decision to withdraw from the EU are already taking hold.

"This is a gross betrayal of Scottish workers who have contributed significantly to the remarkable success of Diageo and to the massive economic dividend our economy receives from whisky and white spirits manufacturing.

"The UK government has been asleep at the wheel over Brexit and it’s evidenced in these cuts today.”

The UK voted to leave the EU in the referendum last June, and Article 50 – which starts the exit process – was triggered in March.

This week the Prime Minister called a general election for June 8 in an effort to create political stability during the process. 

Related topics: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider, Diageo

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