Work at a whisky bottling plant in Dumbarton has resumed in a scaled-down manner after production was halted temporarily last week amid fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Chivas Bothers suspended output at its Kilmalid plant after workers claimed no measures had been put in place to protect them from the virus.

One irate worker who contacted the Reporter on Wednesday blasted the company for not issuing them with gloves, masks or advice about social distancing.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The mood in the place is terrible. We fear if we don’t turn up for work we will be sacked.

“The management have told us it’s essential work, but what’s essential about making whisky?”

After the Reporter relayed the concerns to Chivas Brothers, work was halted while the company held on-site consultations with operators, engineers and union representatives over safety processes.

A spokesman for the company told the Reporter operations had been suspended until at least the end of Wednesday’s backshift to allow it time to listen to its teams and review and implement any additional social distancing measures.

On Monday, the company said work had resumed on a scaled-back basis.

A spokesman said: “We are running scaled-back operations at our Dumbarton and Paisley sites in line with the Scottish Government’s guidance that businesses that are ‘capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice’ can continue to do so.

“We have stepped up our already substantial social distancing processes across our operational sites.”

The company said current measures in place include separating the working environment into zones to enforce a distance of two metres or more between workers; a one-way system to ensure safe entrance and exit from the sites; improved digital facilities to host necessary meetings safely; and staggered clock-in and clock-out times to ensure no clusters around shift changes.

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The spokesman added: “Protecting the health and safety of our employees has never been more critical.”

Chivas Brothers said the measures will be “under constant review as we navigate through these unprecedented times”.

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland organiser, said union members at the plant remain worried and anxious, even with the measures that Chivas have put in place.

He added: "Attending work increases the risk of infection and serious illness for Chivas workers and their families.

"No employer should take this risk for any work that is not essential to fighting Covid-19."