Diageo workers balloted on strikes in closures fight

Diageo workers at Scottish plants threatened with closure will vote on industrial action in a bid to save their jobs.

The consultative ballot runs from today (20 October) until 30 October.

The drinks maker is pressing ahead with the closure of its Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock and the Port Dundas grain distillery in Glasgow, despite huge public support aimed at keeping them open. About 900 jobs will be lost.

Last month, the firm rejected a Scottish government-led business case to retain both facilities, along with its Shieldhall packaging plant in Glasgow.

Diageo said the proposals were not commercially viable and it would proceed with restructuring plans announced in July, reports the BBC.

Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for the drink sector, said: “Our members are determined to fight to save their jobs and are not prepared to be thrown on the dole simply to further boost Diageo’s already huge profits.

“They will show the strength of their anger when they vote on industrial action, but we urge the company to avoid needless conflict by reopening dialogue with the workers and their unions on a fairer way forward on restructuring.”

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