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Covid-19: Unite requests Diageo halts production across Scotland

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Trade union body Unite has requested alcoholic beverage producer Diageo to halt production at its facilities in Scotland amid coronavirus (Covid-19) safety fears.

Currently, the British alcoholic beverage producer operates distilleries and bottling operations across various regions in the country, including at Leven, Cameron Bridge and Shieldhall plants.

These production facilities are operational even during the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19 to ensure the supply of goods and essential services.

According to Unite workplace representatives, the company is complying with the government’s social distancing measures to contain the viral infection.

However, the union body noted that some of Diageo’s plants are operating with up to 200 people for eight hours a day. Long periods in close proximity are increasing stress and anxiety levels among the workers.

Unite regional industrial officer Bob MacGregor said: “Diageo workers are demanding that the company halts production at its plants across Scotland due to the mountain of safety concerns being raised by the workforce.

“Unite fully understands that the food and drink sectors are essential services but if the safety concerns can’t be addressed then production must stop. Safety must come first.

“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.”

Earlier this month, Diageo has pledged to donate nearly two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners to support the production of hand sanitiser.

The company noted that it will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS), which is a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used to produce vodka and gin.

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