Alcohol company criticised by union for not closing down Scottish distilleries

Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff, Baileys, Johnny Walker and Guinness have kept several distilleries and bottling plants across the country open though have implemented social distancing for their workers.

Trade union, Unite, has written to Diageo senior management to request a halt in production of their operations in Scotland due to workplace safety concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

Diageo has a number of distilleries and bottling operations across the country including its Leven, Cameron Bridge and Shieldhall plants.

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Diageo own brands including Smirnoff and Guinness

Unite workplace representatives have been reporting that despite the company adhering to government social distancing measures there remain ongoing safety concerns including the communal use of workplace canteens and toilets with up to 200 workers based at some plants.

Bob MacGregor, Unite regional industrial officer, said: ‘Diageo workers are demanding that the company halt production at its plants across Scotland due to the mountain of safety concerns being raised by the workforce.

‘Unite fully understands that the food and drink sector are essential services but if the safety concerns can't be addressed then production must stop. Safety must come first.

‘The reality is that hundreds of people are working beside each other for hours a day, and then travelling home often on public transport to their families. The workforce are asking Diageo to do the right thing and halt production.’