UK: Union turns on Diageo, Gov't plea on job losses
Diageo is facing a trade union revolt over its plan to cut more than 10% of its workforce in Scotland, while the country's Government has pleaded with the company to rethink its proposal.
Harry Donaldson, Scotland secretary for the GMB trade union, said that employees have been "shocked" by the plan, which would see the closure of a packaging plant in Kilmarnock and the Port Dundas distillery near Glasgow.
Up to 900 jobs would be lost, although no compulsory redundancies will be made for a year and another 400 jobs will be created via a new packaging facility in Fife, said Diageo, announcing its plan last week.
Scotland's Government, which was caught apparently unawares by the plan, has pleaded with the company to rethink its proposal.
Diageo, which has begun a consultation with employees, is the largest Scotch whisky maker, with brands such as Johnnie Walker and J&B.
Scotland's finance secretary John Swinney has pledged to devise an alternative strategy that Diageo could follow.
"We have agreed to utilise the financial information behind the proposals promised to us by Diageo to put forward an alternative proposition," said Swinney late Friday.
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