Diageo workers take the fight to the streets of Glasgow

Posted on 12 Aug 2009 by The Manufacturer

Workers from Diageo’s Port Dundas cooperage and distillery are appealing to Glasgow City leaders to save 200 jobs at the city site and have planned a protest for Friday.

Around 200 jobs at the south Glasgow plant could be lost, after the global drinks company Diageo announced plans to restructure its Scottish business.

The workers and their supporters, led by the union Unite, are set to congregate outside the Council Chambers in Glasgow Square at 1:30pm on Friday (Aug 14) to protest.

Diageo’s proposals also involve the closure of a Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock, incurring the loss of a further 700 from the payroll, and the ‘contracting out’ of delivery jobs.

Billy Parker, Unite regional officer said: “Understandably a great deal of attention has been focused up to now on the fact that Diageo wants to ditch its attachment to its historic home in Kilmarnock. But Diageo’s proposed betrayal of Scotland’s workers will hit Glasgow too.

“Our fear is that Diageo is cutting these jobs because it wants to get its hands on some prime land but the Scottish people would rather have decent jobs than flash flats.”

Parker called on Glasgow officials to “lend their every support to the fight to keep these men and women in work,” and appealed to Diageo to “do the right thing”.

This week Unite launched a massive email campaign to galvanise support for the Diageo workers across the union movement and whisky-lovers worldwide. The digital campaign is being assisted by the team who help President Obama build his grassroots support.

Diageo’s brands also include Smirnoff, Guinness and Blossom Hill.