IUF UK affiliate Unite is campaigning in response to the announced destruction of 900 jobs across Scotland by transnational drinks company Diageo. Diageo, whose spirits, beer and wine brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Baileys, J&B, José Cuervo, Tanqueray, Guinness, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines, and Bushmills Irish whiskey, is hugely profitable, with rising sales and margins by all its leading brands. Total profits for 2008 were over 3.6 billion USD, the company spent nearly 1.5 billion buying back its own shares and the CEO pocketed over USD 8.2 million in pay.
To squeeze yet more money for shareholders and top executives, the company has announced the elimination of 900 jobs through closure, outsourcing and redundancy at the John Walker packaging plant in Kilmarnock, Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow and three other sites
Few if any other jobs are on offer in the communities targeted by Diageo for closure and redundancy.
Unite is vigorously fighting back, with marches, rallies and pressure on politicians.