UK: Lebowskis bars ban Diageo drinks
The owners of Lebowskis in Glasgow and Edinburgh confirmed to just-drinks today (11 August) they are refusing to sell any drinks made by Diageo unless the company backs down over plans to close plants in Kilmarnock and Port Dundas, Glasgow.
In July, Diageo announced plans to cut 900 jobs in Scotland, including 700 by closing the Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock, although the firm has pledged to create an extra 400 jobs at a new packaging site in Fife.
The group, which is the largest Scotch whisky producer, directly employs 4,500 people in the country.
"As a business we fully object to the massive corporation that is Diageo," Mo Clarke, co-owner of Lebowskis told just-drinks. "Not on a cost basis, but they will desolate a thriving community. We feel we can stand up and be heard."
Clarke said the company is hoping that media coverage the ban will encourage other bars and pubs to "stand up and do the same".
"Hopefully, the support will snowball and affect [Diageo's] orders and its decision on the closures.
"We have had emails of support this morning and people coming into the bars saying congratulations. Our sales have not been adversely affected at all."
A Diageo spokesperson said: "Diageo is fully aware of the strength of feeling surrounding the company's restructuring proposals and there have been many different forms of protest around the decision.
"However, the company remains fully committed to its business in Scotland. We currently employ more than 4,000 people at more than 50 sites across the country and will continue to investment in the long-term future of the Scotch Whisky industry."
Diageo has pledged to "seriously consider" alternative proposals being drawn up for its Scotland business by an alliance of opponents, including the Scottish Government and trade unions.
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