Tuesday, 7 July 2009



SNP MSP Bob Doris will join the GMB Union and MSPs from other parties to launch a petition against the closure of Diageo’s distillery at Port Dundas today.

The Glasgow MSP is also due to hold discussions with management and trade unions over the future of the plant.

Speaking ahead of the petition launch Mr Doris said;

“It is essential that as in Kilmarnock we have a united front in Glasgow to fight for jobs at Port Dundas. The efforts of the Trade Unions to bring everyone together shows the spirit and resilience that will secure jobs at this distillery.

“Employees at Port Dundas have gone out of their way to support Diageo in the past - the company’s decision to jettison employees who have worked hard to build and maintain the industry is utterly outrageous.

“If Diageo continue to shut down facilities and break the link between Scotch Whisky and its Scottish heritage it is the company that will ultimately suffer.”

Following reports in todays Daily Record that Diageo had already lodged a planning application for the Kilmarnock site SNP MSP for Kilmarnock Willie Coffey has today confirmed that the application has been withdrawn. He is also seeking assurances from Diageo that no planning applications will be lodged for any sites affected by their proposals while alternative proposals are put together.

Mr Coffey spoke out today over the damage Diageo will do to Scotch Whisky if it continues to pursue its current strategy of consolidation.

Mr Coffey said;

“East Ayrshire Council has confirmed that the planning application from Diageo has been withdrawn. Diageo’s actions in the run up to this announcement are increasingly questionable and their attitude to any future discussions is of much concern.

"I am contacting Diageo to ensure they make no further applications for any of the sites proposed for closure under the restructuring announcements

“Paul Walsh’s strategy appears to be all about short term value and nothing about the long term value of Scotch whisky as a leading premium product.

“Much as the actions of a small few at banks like RBS threatened the long standing reputation of Scottish banking, so the actions of Diageo who seem determined to cut the historical ties and values of their brands risks leading Scotch Whisky down the wrong road.

“Sacrificing Scotch Whisky’s premium value as a drink made, produced and bottled in Scotland in the interests of short term profits will only damage this essential industry.”

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