Ahead Of Trump’s Visit, GMB Tells UK Government: Stand Up For Scotland’s Whisky & Spirits Workers
GMB has today (Thursday 12 July) told the UK Government to ‘stand up’ for the future of whisky and spirits workers in Scotland when the US President Donald Trump arrives in the UK.
Amid radical change in US trade policy and reports of US trade lobbyists demanding the right to manufacture their own versions of UK food and drink products, currently protected by Geographical Indication (GI), GMB is urging the UK Government to take a firm line on Scotland’s second most valuable export sector.
The importance of whisky and spirits manufacturing to Scotland was emphasised in the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) report for GMB Scotland, ‘Brexit and the Sectors of the Scottish Economy’, which revealed that export demand from EU and rest of the world markets supported 12,800 and 17,200 domestic jobs respectively - with exports to the EU alone valued at an estimated £1.2 billion.
GMB has previously called on the UK Government to bring forward protections for whisky and spirits manufacturing against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty and future trade deal reforms.
GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway said: “As Scotland stands against Trump we also need to be aware of the threat he poses to jobs and prosperity with post-Brexit trade reform on the horizon, not least in our whisky and spirits sector.
We already know of the back-channel wrangling between UK and US trade representatives and the ambitions of the US to see the protected status of many lucrative UK food and drink products removed as part of a future deal.
That would be a disaster for single malt production but also for thousands of bottling jobs in communities across Fife, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow where employers like Chivas, Diageo and Edrington have major operations.
Trump is a bully throwing his weight around the world stage, so our political elite are going to have to follow the example of those demonstrating against the US President and start standing up for jobs and communities in the next few days.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway on 07855 017842 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors: ‘Brexit and the Sectors of the Scottish Economy’, a report for GMB Scotland by the Fraser of Allander Institute (November 2017), can be accessed at http://www.gmbscotland.org.uk/assets/media/documents/pressreleases/GMB-Scotland-Brexit-report.pdf