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09.2009

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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SCOTCH on the ROCKS

The Scots are angry and they’re letting people know. About 2O,OOO people have taken part in demonstrations against Diageo’s plans to close its Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock and a Glasgow distillery. Earlier this summer, Diageo announced plans to close the bottling plant at Kilmarnock and the Port Dundas grain distillery in Glasgow cutting 9OO jobs. A total of 7OO jobs could be lost at the Kilmarnock plant alone, where a protest march and rally also took place. More than 1O,OOO people have signed a petition against the proposed closures. The First Minister spoke out at the rally against the company’s plans, as did Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP and former Scottish Secretary Des Browne. Liberal Democrat MSP Ross Finnie was also taking part in the protest, along with Tory leader Annabel Goldie and fellow Conservative MSPs John Scott and Margaret Mitchell. Diageo has also said it will “offset” the cuts with 4OO new jobs at its Fife packaging plant and a coopering center will be created in Clackmannanshire. It has also said there will be no compulsory redundancies at sites for one year.

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