July 27, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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Trade unions and politicians are turning up the volume in their battle to force Diageo to reconsider its plans to cut around 10% of its workforce in Scotland.
The Unite Union has told just-drinks this morning (27 July) that it believes 20,000 protesters turned out in Kilmarnock at the weekend to march against Diageo's intention to cut 700 jobs by closing the Johnnie Walker packaging plant in the town.
Alongside this groundswell of public opinion, the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) has strengthened its rhetoric against Diageo – last week, SNP leader Alex Salmond held talks with Diageo's CEO, Paul Walsh, and denounced the cuts as “unacceptable” to the Scottish people.
While Diageo has said it is willing to consider “alternative proposals” to its plan, when the company initially said the closures were being introduced to “best ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations in Scotland in the current economic conditions”, I'll wager the company will have explored every alternative in the first instance.
That said, what would a volte-face on the matter mean to Diageo in PR terms?
In other news...
The big news out of the US was that Constellation Brands has moved to streamline its distribution in the country.
Finally, the long-running struggle between Bacardi and Pernod Ricard over Havana Club took another intriguing twist last week, when the Spanish Supreme Court acquiesced to hearing Bacardi's appeal against the dismissal two years ago of Bacardi's claim to the local trademark rights for the brand name.
This row will outlast me, you know. Mark my words.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
The all-new job board from just-drinks is now available, an improved service for you to search and apply for the latest global drinks industry jobs.
Following a recent visit to a new, English vineyard project, Chris Losh returns full of pride for our once great nation. Could our sparkling wine make us great once more?
The UK wine trade is facing a “perfect storm” in the first half of 2009. A formidable array of negative factors have conspired to make life far from easy in the market traditionally touted as the most open and dynamic place to do wine business on the globe. This is the rather gloomy backdrop to just-drinks’ third UK off-trade wine industry survey, in which once again we canvassed the views of the key players on the scene – including major suppliers, retail buyers, UK importers, wine producers and generic associations. Normally published for release at the London International Wine Fair, we thought it would make good reading as a management briefing too.
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