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Unite accuses drinks giant Diageo of jobs betrayal

Unite accuses drinks giant Diageo of jobs betrayal

20 April 2017

Unite the union says drinks giant Diageo will betray Scottish workers, if it pushes ahead with plans to move white spirit production overseas. 

The drinks multinational wants to slash around 70 jobs from its site at Leven in Fife, and around 35 at Shieldhall in Glasgow. The company wants to move production to the former Cinzano factory of Santa Vittoria in Italy, and also trial production of Smirnoff vodka in the United States. 

Unite regional officer Pat McIlvogue said: "This is a shocking betrayal of Scottish workers. Diageo isn't proposing cutting the volume of what it produces - the work will still have be done somewhere. But it’s telling Scottish workers that they're not the ones that are going to be doing it. 

"Scotland has been very good to Diageo. The company makes massive profits because of its association with Scotch whisky. Leven and Shieldhall are some of the most efficient, productive drinks facilities in the world. Shieldhall has been awarded Diageo’s global Plant of the Year award.

“Workers in Scotland help make massive eye-watering profits for Diageo - for the six months to 31 December last year it made an incredible £2.1 billion. That was 16 per cent up on the previous year. 

"This is not a company that is short of cash. There is absolutely no justification for Diageo to turn its back on Scottish workers, and leave scores of them without a livelihood."

Unite is to meet with Diageo representatives on Tuesday 25 April to discuss the plans. 

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org