180 jobs at risk
St Rollox closer to closure as notices served on workers
Historic works could close (pic: unknown)
Workers at the historic St Rollox rail plant in Glasgow are fearing for their jobs after being served with a statutory consultation period for closure.
Constituency SNP MSP for Maryhill & Springburn, Bob Doris has accused Gemini Rail of acting prematurely by beginning a 45-day period of consultation while efforts are ongoing to find a new owner.
Gemini said last month that closure of the Springburn factory was on the cards as trade unions and politicians asked for time to explore viable options to keep the site open.
A meeting with the Scottish Transport Minister Michael Matheson has been organised for next week to discuss funding for diversification of the site and save at least some of the 180 jobs.
Tonight Mr Doris said: “I am hugely disappointed that Gemini have now moved to the statutory 45 day consultation period on redundancies at the historic St Rollox rail works in my constituency. There was no need to do so at this time.
“Given their order book they could have shown a willingness to allow more space for solutions to be found.”
Pat McIlvogue, Unite the Union officer, said: “Since before Christmas we have asked for more time and for Gemini not to serve notice on our members as we do not agree with their reasons for closure.
“We have asked Gemini to open their accounts to Scottish Enterprise to show which areas of the site are incurring loses and they have failed to do so.
“Today, they have demonstrated total complete contempt for our members.
“This is a complete slap in the face for the Scottish Government who have engaged Gemini in discussion and for our members. It this goes ahead it will make a terrible dent in Scotland’s rail infrastructure.
Nick Fitzwater, managing director of Gemini Rail Services, said: “Following our initial announcement in December, Gemini Rail Services can confirm it has entered a consultation process with employees over a proposal to close its site in Springburn, Glasgow. Employees have been informed of the consultation process, and we will now hold detailed discussions with them and their representatives, both collectively and individually.
“As we have stated, the decision to put forward the proposal has in no way been taken lightly and we know it is a worrying time for the workforce. The proposal has been made against a backdrop of increasingly challenging market conditions which are outside of our control and severely affect our core business of maintaining pre-privatisation rolling stock.
“Springburn will continue to suffer a major decline in work due to its location and the section of the market it serves.
“This market downturn has been evident for many years, and despite the efforts of management to explore avenues to improve the situation, and the hard work and dedication of the workforce to deliver on contracts won by the company, the company is suffering unsustainable losses.
“Gemini Rail Services management has worked to engage with several key stakeholders, including industry experts, unions and politicians, to openly discuss the adverse market forces affecting Springburn and to explore all viable alternative options for the site. This engagement is ongoing.”