WORKERS HAVE reacted with anger to huge multinational Diageo's announcement of the closure of the Guinness brewery in Park Royal in Brent, north west London. The company plans to axe 90 jobs in the 70 year old plant in London, transferring this work to St James's Gate, Ireland. According to one union rep, "For a number of years management have used the threat of closing either Park Royal or St James's Gate as a way of pushing through cuts and rationalisation in both plants. We gave concession after concession. We were told we had to 'modernise' and we did, but it just meant more work and now they do this. Park Royal was set up by Guinness in the 1930s to avoid paying import tax. They're closing us down to get tax breaks." Irish corporation tax is 12.5 percent compared to 30 percent in the UK.
For the staff in Dublin the closure means an increased workload in order to increase output by 50 percent without any increase in staff. As Socialist Worker went to press the workers were waiting to hear the redundancy terms.