Questions over 450 whisky jobs, says union

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Chivas Brothers plans to relocate its Paisley, Scotland, operations to Dumbarton. Image courtesy of Thomas Nugent
Chivas Brothers plans to relocate its Paisley, Scotland, operations to Dumbarton. Image courtesy of Thomas Nugent

Related tags Pernod ricard

Plans to shut down a whisky bottling facility in Scotland – involving the relocation of up to 450 jobs – have been slammed by Unite the union.

Owner Chivas Brothers said the decision the move the facility in Paisley, Renfrewshire, to Dumbarton was made last week (January 16) after “an extensive consultation process”​ which began in November.

Unite regional officer Pat Mcilvogue told the 200 workers his union represents still had many questions about the plans.

“Our members still have a lot of anxiety about this move and many still have questions about the transfer of work to Dumbarton,” ​said Mcilvogue.

“We asked Chivas Brothers to extend their consultation but they refused. That is disappointing. This is a stressful time for our members and our request was completely reasonable. Unite will continue to work to make sure that no member suffers a loss as a result of these plans.”

‘Stressful time’

Staff at the Paisley site are to be offered permanent roles at the new £40M facility, according to Chivas, with work to be completed by the end of 2019.

A Chivas Brothers statement said: “We want to ensure the very best possible transition to our new facility.

“While the official consultation process has now closed, we will hold individual consultation meetings with every employee who wishes to have one.”

The transfer of operations and activities from Paisley to Dumbarton is to start in 2018, with everyone based on the Paisley site to move by the end of 2019.

‘Will impact workers’

Renfrewshire Labour councillor Mark MacMillan said: “The news that permanent workers at the Paisley site will still have jobs is obviously welcome.

“But no-one should be in any doubt that Chivas’s move will impact workers, their families and the wider community.

“Everyone impacted by the firm’s decision can be assured, however, that Renfrewshire Council will do everything we can for the workforce and to encourage the creation of new jobs within our area.

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and gin business of alcoholic beverage giant Pernod Ricard. Its brands include Absolut Vodka, Beefeater and Malibu.

Additional reporting by Matt Atherton.

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