Diageo boss to discuss plant closures with union reps

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Diageo chief executive, Trade union, Diageo, Bottle, Paul walsh

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh is set to meet union officials at the company's Kilmarnock bottling plant this morning to outline reasons for the...

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh is set to meet union officials at the company's Kilmarnock bottling plant this morning to outline reasons for the proposed closure of the operation.

Walsh will meet a group of shop stewards at 10am to discuss the future of the plant, which bottles Diageo's Johnnie Walker whisky.

Trade union Unite, which claims many of the plant's staff are its members, had called on Walsh to explain to all those employees affected by the planned shutdown - around 700 staff - why the facility was being closed.

Jenny Formby, national officer for food and drink at trade union Unite, said: "Initially we were pleased that the workers' pressure had succeeded in bringing Diageo boss Paul Walsh to meet with the workers, but he clearly has not got the bottle to face the workers who have helped make the company so successful and contributed to his own personal fortune.

"This workforce is hugely proud of Johnnie Walker and of the part it plays in Scotland's whisky industry. They are not going to give their plants up without a fight, a message we hope Mr Diageo will take back to his board.

Unite has been pressing Diageo to think again on the closure plans, which as well as the Kilmarnock job losses would see 200 jobs go at the company's other sites in Shieldhall and Port Dundas in Glasgow.

Strike action has been mooted after Diageo rejected alternative plans for the closures, submitted by a group comprising local politicians and unions.

Diageo has stuck to its claim that the shutdowns are part of a restructuring programme that is vital if the group's Scottish operations are to remain viable.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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