Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Kilmarnock and Loudoun MSP, Willie Coffey has welcomed Diageo's u-turn on a £10 charge for Johnnie Walker workers facing redundancy obtaining a copy of their contract of employment. Diageo has announced that up to 800 workers in Kilmarnock and Loudoun will face redundancy or relocation when the company close the Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock and a plant at nearby Hurlford.

Members of the workforce asking for a copy of their contract of employment have been told that they could face a wait of 40 days, and will be charged a £10 'administration fee'. Local MSP, Willie Coffey, wrote to Bryan Donaghey, Managing Director of Diageo Scotland asking him to reconsider this charge. Mr Donaghey has now agreed to waive the £10 charge, but confirmed that it could still take up to 40 days to get a copy of the contract.

Commenting Mr Coffey said:

"I could hardly believe the insensitivity of a firm like Diageo, which makes £ billions in profit each year, slapping a £10 charge on workers facing the loss of their job."

"Diageo say that the changes they are introducing, which will result in the loss of hundreds of jobs, will save them £20 million every year.

"Given the sums involved, is it too much to ask Diageo to properly plan and resource a consultation exercise with their workforce instead of doing it on the cheap.

"The impression is certainly growing among the workers that, it doesn't matter what anyone says, Diageo has made its decision to leave Kilmarnock and Hurlford.

"I would ask Diageo to seriously engage with the Scottish Government and the Trade Unions to recognise the loyalty this workforce has shown the firm over many years.

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