Michelin pays wages

End of the road for tyre plant as virus forces early closure

Michelin Dundee

End of an era: plant will close early

Tyre production at the Michelin plant in Dundee has come to a premature end as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company has shut the plant after 50 years of manufacturing and agreed to pay the workers their full entitlement to wages through to the planned closure date in the summer.

Michelin announced the shutdown in 2018, blamed an influx of cheap foreign imports from Asia into the European market and falling demand for premium tyres in smaller dimensions.

It is now working with a consortium involving the Scottish Government, Dundee City Council, the trade unions and Scottish Enterprise to attract new enterprises to the site.

The Michelin-Scotland Alliance is working towards the development of an Innovation Parc. The initiative aims to create opportunities in manufacturing, remanufacturing, recycling and low carbon transport.

John Reid: ‘positive destination’ (pic: Terry Murden)

John Reid, factory manager at Michelin Dundee, said employees would be mobilised to volunteer for projects set up by the community, government and health services to support people during the Covid-19 crisis.

“We will be developing a new employability programme to help people find their next positive destination, be that retirement, further education or a new job,” he said.

“We’re also conscious that some people will find being confined to their homes tough, so wellbeing support will continue to be important. We will be using technology and social media combined with a limited presence on site until the virus allows more normal working.

More than 500 of the 850 workers who were at the plant at the time of the closure announcement have moved on to new jobs. 

Bob MacGregor, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “It’s a very sad day for the people of Dundee that 50 years of tyre production at the Michelin plant has come to an end before the summer when it was scheduled to finish.

“However, we want to recognise that Michelin has acted as a responsible employer throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and has agreed to pay the workers their full wages up until the summer.

“Unite continues to work with the company to find a long-term future through the repurposing of the plant. As one chapter comes to an end, we hope that another one will begin and hundreds of jobs can be retained on site.”

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