Managing change for employees: Kilmarnock
In 2012, we closed our Kilmarnock Bottling Plant after 56 years and a long association with the town. Change in our business has consequences for our employees and the communities in which we work. We are committed to treating employees with dignity, and dealing sensitively with change.
The Hill Street plant in Kilmarnock, Scotland, produced the last bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label from its lines on 23 March. On the day of the closure, Pauline Rooney, site director, said: ‘This is an emotional time for all of us at the site. Yesterday both our dayshift and twilight shift stopped, and it was hard for us to see our colleagues walk out the door for the last time. Each and every member of staff in Kilmarnock deserves enormous recognition for the way they have handled this very difficult time.’
At Diageo, we recognise that organisational change can have a profound impact on individual employees, their families, and their communities. As part of our ‘People Principles’, we are committed to ensuring that employees facing change have every opportunity to explore the possibilities of retraining or redeployment, and, where we are a significant local employer, we work with local agencies on initiatives to regenerate the area.
Nearly 200 of the 707 people who worked at Kilmarnock have since been redeployed within Diageo, many after receiving retraining. During the three years between our announcement and the closure, hundreds more received training in the skills and capabilities they needed to find new jobs. And the Hill Street site will be redeveloped – as a new campus for Kilmarnock College, to which Diageo has donated 10 acres.