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Scotland: Diageo Workers Request Halt of Operations

Scotland: Diageo Workers Request Halt of Operations

Safety concerns at Diageo production sites and heightened levels of stress have led the worker’s union to call for a stop of production at all bottling and distilling sites across Scotland.

The worker’s union Unite has written a letter to the senior management requesting to halt productions. This was requested as stress and anxiety levels of workers are heightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s second largest liquor producer operates a huge number of production sites across Scotland, including its Leven, Cameronbridge and Shieldhall plants, which currently remain open to provide essential services and goods. Some of these plants have up to 200 employees working in close proximity for 8 hours a day. 

While physical distancing measures have been implemented, still safety is not at an optimum with employees having to share bathrooms and canteens. 

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 is asking Diageo to do the right thing and halt production,” said Bob MacGregor, Unite regional industrial officer, as per The Spirits Business.

Diageo has responded by defending their production claiming stringent safety measures have been taken and that all plants are adhering to UK and Scottish government protocol. The company states they have fundamentally changed how they operate, have introduced strict physical distancing, extra sanitation measures and have scaled down operations and stopped some activities completely.

On Friday, we again met with Bob Macgregor from Unite and we have asked him to share as a matter of urgency any and all examples where he believes our strict safety protocols, which go beyond government guidelines, are not being adhered to so if proven can be resolved immediately,” said a spokeswoman for Diageo, as per The Drinks Business.

Diageo appears intend on ignoring workers’ concerns.

It does not seem like Diageo plans to halt production despite the evident increased stress and anxiety among their employees. 

This won’t be the first time Diageo ignored workers’ rights. In August 2019, employees of several plants almost went on strike action as Diageo did not offer an appropriate pay increase at least matching the previous year.

Diageo in Hot Water over Worker’s Rights

Sources: 

The Spirits Business: “Unite calls for Diageo to halt production in Scotland

The Drinks Business: “DIAGEO DEFENDS PRODUCTION AFTER TRADE UNION CALLS FOR A HALT ON PRODUCTION