Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Gibson backs calls for whisky inquiry

News release
Immediate release

Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands is backing the need for an enquiry into the state of the Scottish whisky industry.

Mr Gibson has also written to Whyte and Mackay following the announcement of job losses which will affect distilleries in Easter Ross.

He said...

"As vice Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee I will be arguing for a full enquiry into the crisis in Scotch. My colleague Willie Coffey (MSP for Kilmarnock) faces the loss of 700 jobs at a bottling plant in his hometown. Here in Easter Ross the loss of jobs at Invergordon and Dalmore distilleries (owned by Whyte and Mackay) is a symptom of a remote ownership of our icon national drink. "

"I welcome Whyte and Mackay's Indian owners assurance to Scottish Ministers that they are doing everything they can to avoid compulsory redundancies. But I am calling for each company to pledge to complete all the stages in production, maturing, bottling and export from a Scottish base."

"I cannot believe that their cuts in profits due to the worldwide economic crisis warrant cuts in Scottish distilleries and downstream production staff. At this time new distilleries are being built to meet anticipated huge rise in demand for Scotch Whisky when the global economy recovers. Therefore multinational companies have a duty to maintain their Scottish workforce and create stability for their workers. I have written to Whyte and Mackay to express my concern."


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