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GMB Urges HC To Approve Whyte & Mackay Energy Overhaul

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

GMB Urges HC To Approve Whyte & Mackay Energy Overhaul To Safeguard Jobs

GMB Scotland has today (Wednesday 1 February) urged Highland Council (HC) not to gamble with 100 high-value whisky jobs in Invergordon amid planning approval delays for a major energy overhaul of the Whyte & Mackay distillery.

Whyte & Mackay say the future viability of the historic distillery depends on council approval for an on-site Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility, wHCh would help deliver more secure, low-carbon energy and heating supplies to aid the business’ competitiveness.

The £16 million investment plan, overhauling the distillery’s 1970’s energy infrastructure, has met some local resistance despite the local employment benefits and the £6 million a year wages dividend provided by the site.

GMB Scotland Organiser Liz Gordon said: “Our message to HC is clear: Do not gamble with our members’ livelihoods and the value they bring to the local economy.

Our priority is the defence of our members interests and there would be no realistic ‘plan B’ for the redeployment of their jobs, wages and skills outside of Invergordon if Whyte & Mackay wound down its operations.

Nobody is denying that the company has a duty of care to the local community over the AD plans but the community and the council also must be realistic about the need for the distillery to renew itself if the business is to continue to thrive.

Decisions like this aren’t always easy but for the sake of employment and the regional economy, there is only one sensible outcome and that’s why HC should get on with the planning application process swiftly to secure the distillery’s future.

“This will be good for jobs, good for the economy, good for the environment and good for Invergordon.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Liz Gordon on 07920 838588 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.