Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 13:21 UK

In quotes: Diageo job cuts reaction

Drinks giant Diageo has announced plans to cut up to 900 jobs at its operations in Scotland. Here is some of the reaction from unions, politicians and business organisations.

GRAHAME SMITH, STUC GENERAL SECRETARY

The scale of these job losses comes as a genuine shock to the Diageo workforce. The announcement is a massive blow to the individuals concerned and their families and the impact on the Kilmarnock area is potentially devastating.

Given that Diageo has publicly promoted its partnership model of industrial relations, management must now treat its loyal and productive workforce with the respect they deserve by urgently providing union officials with the full business plan used to justify these swingeing redundancies at hitherto profitable workplaces.

The Scottish Government must pursue an urgent dialogue with the company to question the justification for these job losses and ensure that the company meets its full responsibilities to its workforce.

JOHN SWINNEY, SCOTTISH FINANCE SECRETARY

The Scottish Government is asking the company to reconsider this course of action and to look at alternatives which protect employment.

The First Minister has this morning spoken to the company and will meet senior executives tomorrow to make exactly that point.

This will be a particularly worrying time for workers at Kilmarnock and Port Dundas.

DES BROWNE, LABOUR MP FOR KILMARNOCK AND LOUDOUN

Des Browne MP said the job cuts were 'devastating'

Every bottle of Johnnie Walker has a label which says that this whisky has been bottled in Kilmarnock since 1820.

The town of Kilmarnock and the people of Ayrshire have contributed to this business's profits for nearly two centuries.

The company now needs to work with their staff in Kilmarnock and revise these proposals as they did 10 years ago to maintain this presence and these jobs.

WILLIE COFFEY, SNP MSP FOR KILMARNOCK AND LOUDOUN

I have met the local management this morning and made clear that this decision makes no sense as they are making handsome and significant profits. It's like the corporate world gone mad.

The net job losses to Scotland, if this goes ahead, will be around 500 - but the impact in Kilmarnock would mean 700 job losses in the town.

That will be a hammer blow to Kilmarnock if they go through with this. Johnnie Walker has been connected with the town since 1820 and it makes no sense to cut that link.

GORDON BANKS, LABOUR MP FOR OCHIL AND SOUTH PERTHSHIRE

The loss of jobs anywhere is to be regretted but the action taken by Diageo does highlight the worldwide impact of the current downturn and how no company is immune from the fallout.

However there are some positives to take from today's announcement and one of these affects Clackmannanshire in my constituency.

The creation of a new cooperage centre at Cambus by summer 2011 is to be welcomed. The closure of the existing cooperage facility at Carsebridge is understandable as a result of deciding to create the new facility relatively close.

ROBERT BROWN, LIB DEM MSP FOR GLASGOW

It is now vital that the Scottish Government comes forward and does everything it can to support those affected by these job cuts.

Ministers must work with local authorities to make sure that all the Diageo staff who lose their jobs are given individually tailored help to ensure they are re-employed or retrained as soon as possible.

SCOTCH WHISKY ASSOCIATION

We've no doubt these will have been difficult decisions to take.

The Scotch whisky industry is working hard to invest to secure its sustainability and competitiveness, which is so important to the Scottish economy.

We continue to believe whisky has a strong long-term future as shown by Diageo's own commitment to investing in new and expanded facilities in Scotland.

STEVEN PURCELL, GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL LEADER

This is clearly very difficult news for the staff that will be affected and the Council expects Diageo to work with it to ensure jobs stay in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, we are concentrating on investment in skills and training, particularly modern apprenticeships, to ensure that when the economy turns, Glasgow has a workforce ready and primed to take advantage of every positive opportunity.



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