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W&M consults on job cuts

Published:  04 August, 2009

Scotch whisky producer Whyte & Mackay is undertaking a "major review" of its operations which it says could lead to the loss of 85 jobs in Scotland.

A further 15 sales positions outside of Scotland could also be affected.

W&M said it had entered into a formal consultation with employees and was looking at ways to minimise compulsory redundancies.

The company has held meetings over the last week with relevant Scottish government departments, including the First Minister Alex Salmond.

Opposition parties, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and Highland & Islands Enterprise have also been briefed on the situation.

The moves follow Diageo's controversial decision last month to axe 900 jobs at two sites in Scotland, which brought condemnation and protest marches.

W&M chief executive John Beard said: "It will come as no surprise to anybody that a combination of the worldwide economic situation and the punitive UK legislative climate means that only the fittest alcoholic drink companies will survive. For W&M this means taking the painful decision to review our structures and costs.

"While this impacts all of our seven Scottish locations there will be no site closure as a consequence of this decision.

"My priority over the coming days and weeks is to help and assist our staff.

"We are hopeful that this difficult decision will ensure W&M has a sustainable future going forward, leaving us in a strong position to grow when the UK and global economy improves."