Forbes blasts McVitie’s owner over redundancy notices
Hopes crumbling at biscuit factory
Economy Secretary Kate Forbes has expressed ‘disappointment’ that the owner of the McVitie’s biscuit factory in Glasgow has sent out redundancy notices to the workforce while talks are ongoing.
Trade unions Unite Scotland and GMB Scotland, who jointly represent the vast majority of the 472 McVitie’s workers based at Tollcross, reacted furiously to the company’s actions.
They accused Pladis, the Turkish owner, of refusing to engage with the newly-established Action Group set up to prevent closure of the factory which makes Hobnobs and Rich Tea biscuits and can trace its roots to the early 19th century. The proposed closure was announced last month.
Ms Forbes said: “This is really disappointing news and my thoughts are with those affected and their families.
“This will be a very anxious and distressing time for them, especially during these uncertain times, and we stand ready to provide support.
The factory makes well-known brands
“The Action Group has met frequently to discuss what could be done to save the site and the jobs and just last week we presented a series of proposals as an alternative to site closure. We are therefore extremely disappointed Pladis has decided to notify staff they are at risk of redundancy.
“The Action Group is meeting again next week where we will carefully consider the next steps and what more we can do to support affected staff and secure these jobs. I would once again ask Pladis to engage directly with the Action Group to explore opportunities to secure a future for the site.”
The Action Group includes representatives from the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Clyde Gateway, Unite the Union and GMB with advice from industry experts.
Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace and slap in the face to the workforce that not only has McVitie’s formally issued redundancy notices but they are also refusing to engage with the Action Group established by the Scottish Government.
“Everyone except the company is working together in order to bring forward options, which could save hundreds of jobs in the local area.”
GMB Scotland Organiser David Hume said: “It’s an act of extreme bad faith on the part of the Pladis managing director David Murray, and a gross insult to hundreds of workers and their families who are fighting for their livelihoods and community.
“The rules of the game have now been changed by Pladis – the clock is now officially ticking on 472 jobs and generations of food manufacturing that has endured austerity and prosperity, war and pandemic.
“David Murray needs to be hauled by the Cabinet Secretary before the members of the Action Group because this is a profitable business with an innovative workforce that can and should have a future in the East End of Glasgow.”