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Brexit claims over decision

Diageo to cut 100 jobs at Scottish plants

Derek Mackay
Derek Mackay: disappointing

Spirits company Diageo is to cut more than 100 jobs at two sites in Scotland amid claims that they are being moved to overseas locations because of the Brexit decision.

However, the company said that it was because of the ending of a contract and a need to restructure its bottling capacity.

It is understood that vodka and rum production will be moved to the former Cinzano factory of Santa Vittoria in Italy, with work with Smirnoff vodka also being trialled in the United States.

A total of 70 redundancies will be made at Diageo’s Leven plant in Fife and a further 35 its Shieldhall site, near Glasgow.

Diageo owns a number of spirits brands including Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan and Baileys.  

A spokesman for the company said: “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.”

SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth, who represents Leven, said: “This announcement by Diageo is concerning and will cause great uncertainty for many people in our communities throughout Fife – and it is doubly concerning that these possible redundancies appear to be down to Brexit.” 

Finance Derek Mackay said the loss of jobs was “deeply disappointing”.

He added: “I know this will be an anxious time for the company’s employees and their families. Reports that concerns over Brexit and our future relationship with Europe have played a factor in these job losses underline the serious threat which this poses to Scotland’s economy and to employment. 

“Scottish Enterprise is engaging with the company to explore all possible options for supporting those affected, and we will work with the company to safeguard Scottish jobs.

“If any redundancies proceed, through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), we will provide skills development and employability support to minimise the time that individuals affected are out of work.” 

“Our focus at this stage is on engaging with the company to do everything we can to encourage it to maintain employment at its Scottish sites.”


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