Management roles at risk as Diageo sheds 80 jobs

Diageo Leven
Diageo Leven

Diageo’S operations at Levenmouth could be affected by the drinks giant’s plans to shed 80 jobs from its Scottish operation.

Last week, the company – which owns Guinness, Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky – announced the outcome of a major strategic review of its global supply and procurement chain, aimed at saving around £60m per year.

The firm intends to cut around 80 posts – mostly in management roles – across 50 sites in Scotland by June next year.

The company stressed to the Mail there was no local breakdown yet of where the job losses might take effect, raising some questions over bosses’ roles at Leven and Windygates.

Although nothing has yet been confirmed, it appears likely that some management posts may be affected at Banbeath and Cameronbridge, with around a quarter of Diageo’s 4000-strong Scottish workforce based in Fife.

The firm said the changes would be handled in a phased stages in consultation with workers.

It said in last week’s statement: “The review has concluded that, following a sustained period of investment in Scotland and a continuous focus on efficiency and competitiveness, Diageo’s Scottish manufacturing business is well placed to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive global environment.

“However, the review has identified opportunities at both global and local levels which will build further competitiveness.

“Under a new global management structure, Scotland will be part of a newly-created international supply centre (ISC) which will brings together management of Diageo’s beer, wine and spirits production operations in Europe under a single management structure.”

The ISC, added the statement, will replace the current Diageo Europe Supply organisation and continue to be headquartered in Edinburgh, while building on the existing Scottish operational strength in manufactured exports.

The firm added: “To ensure the business in Scotland remains competitive, the review identified opportunities to simplify processes and organisation at local levels which will result in a proposed reduction of around 80 roles across Diageo’s 50 sites in Scotland.

“The reduction will primarily be in management roles and will be spread across a number of sites.

“This change will be managed through a phased process in consultation with employees and implemented over the next financial year until June 2014.

“Diageo will seek, wherever possible, to minimise the impact of any change.”

The review also confirmed that Diageo’s £1bn investment programme in Scotland, to increase Scotch whisky production capacity in response to growing global demand, will continue as planned.