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Easter Ross distiller winds down in response to coronavirus concerns; Whyte & Mackay set to open hand sanitiser production line

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Easter Ross distiller winds down in response to coronavirus concerns; Whyte & Mackay set to open hand sanitiser production line

Originally Posted: Rosshire Journal
Photo Credit: Tumblr

A UNION working to support employees at an Invergordon distillery says it is broadly happy with what has been negotiated with staff.

GMB union said it was called in to work alongside management at the Whyte and Mackay distillery based in Invergordon after workers raised concerns about close proximity working without appropriate health and safety work wear.

After negotiations between the GMB and Whyte and Mackay the whisky-producing side of the business is being wound down

And the owners have been called upon to create a new line making much-needed hand sanitizer for the NHS and carers.

A spokeswoman for Whyte and Mackay said: “We are in the process of an orderly wind down of operations at Invergordon. The distillery will remain open for now to support our local partners in their production of hand sanitiser for our local community.

“All necessary social distancing protocols are in place to ensure safe ways of working for our colleagues.”

John McCartney, for GMB Scotland, said: “‘The health and safety of workers must prioritise over the wealth of the whisky and spirits majors and their shareholders.

“Producers like Whyte and Mackay can more than afford to do the right thing by everyone and particularly with the package of government support too.

“If employers cannot provide proper PPE, practice the social distancing advice and keep their staff as safe as possible then they are acting with gross negligence. The guidelines exist for a reason – to stop the spread of the coronavirus and to save lives. If employers are not clear, we will tell our members to stay at home.”

He continued: “That said, we are broadly happy with what has been negotiated for workers in Invergordon, and we hope other large-scale whisky distillers will follow its lead and put its workers first.”

It is understood that the Invergordon Distillery will make 10 barrels of sanitizer a week at the plant. The wind down of the whisky distillery is under way.

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