UK and Ireland workers must not pay for Diageo's p...

UK and Ireland workers must not pay for Diageo's profit thirst

11 March 2013

Unite the union has warned Diageo, one of the world's most successful spirit companies, that is must not make its UK and Irish workforces pay yet again for business realignment in its search for ever-increasing profits.

Commenting on the news that Diageo is to refocus its operations across its 21 global markets, Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for food and drink, said: "Scottish workers have already paid a very heavy price for Diaego's profits.  In 2011, we saw the historic home of Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock shut and hundreds of Scottish jobs go.

"There must be no repeat of what has gone before where our members at UK or Irish plants pay for increased profits and tasty dividends for the board and shareholders with their jobs and pay.

"Diageo is extremely successful, and last year profits jumped by 32 per cent to a colossal £3.1 billion, yet the company prefers to pay its tax via Amsterdam  to avoid paying what it is due in this country.

"This company must conduct itself in a more socially responsible way, beginning with stating clearly that it will secure the jobs of those who have grown this company to international success."

Diageo is the world's biggest producer of spirits.  In 2012, it reported a big jump in annual profits with pre-tax profit for the year to the end of June at £3.1 billion, up 32 per cent on the £2.4 billion the company made in the previous year. Sales rose 10 per cent to £14.6 billion.
Diageo produces Guinness, Smirnoff, Baileys and Johnnie Walker, and employs about 27,000.


For further information please contact Jennie Formby on 07702 206 436 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.