UK: Alternative Diageo jobs plan drawn up - Government

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Opponents to Diageo's plan to cut 10% of its workforce in Scotland have agreed on an alternative business proposal to present to the company, the Scottish Government has said.

The alternative plan calls for continued production at the Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow and construction of a new Johnnie Walker packaging plant in Kilmarnock, Scotland's Government said today (26 August).

The plan was agreed last night at a meeting of a "taskforce" of opponents to Diageo's restructuring plan, including trade unions, politicians and business development agency Scottish Enterprise. The meeting was chaired by Scotland's finance secretary John Swinney.

Diageo announced in July that it planned to cut 900 jobs in Scotland by closing Port Dundas and moving all Johnnie Walker packaging operations out of Kilmarnock, closing its plant there.

Around 400 new jobs will be created by extending the company's packaging plant near Fife, it said.

A spokesperson for Diageo said that the company was "aware" of last night's meeting.

"However, the company was not invited to the meeting and so we are not, as yet, aware of the outcome of the meeting. We do expect to be advised of the outcome in due course."

The group provided business information to a consultancy group, BDO Stoy Hayward, which was commissioned by the taskforce to examine alternatives to the drinks giant's original plan.

However, sources close to the taskforce told just-drinks last week that Stoy Hayward's initial report "doesn't make the best of reading" and that it appeared to suggest job losses were inevitable, while viable alternatives would prove more costly.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Johnnie Walker

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