Plea for factory
Forbes presses Pladis to reconsider McVities closure
Kate Forbes: seeking commitments (pic: Terry Murden)
Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes is leading a new attempt to persuade the owner of the McVitie’s biscuit factory in Glasgow to consider alternatives to closure.
The Pladis Action Group met today to reaffirm its commitment to present options to the Turkish company which has rejected earlier proposals to build a new factory near the site at Tollcross.
This is sixth meeting of the group and the first since Pladis announced its intention to proceed with closure which will mean 468 job losses.
Ms Forbes said: “Although the announcement from Pladis to proceed with closure was extremely disappointing we remain committed to working with pladis to find an alternative option to closure.
“Both the First Minister and I have written to Pladis urging them to honour their commitment to engage openly and constructively with the Scottish Government and our partners on the development of an alternative proposition.
The McVitties plant will shut with 468 job losses
“We have also asked them once more to provide the information we have requested that would help ensure the proposal is commercially viable. Our overriding priority remains the welfare of the staff and their families and we want to reassure them that we will leave no stone unturned in trying to find a positive outcome.”
Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: “Despite the recent disappointing announcement by Pladis we remain committed to working with them and our partners to find a solution that would allow the company to continue to operate in Glasgow.
“Once again, I underline the point that we will do all that we can to find such a solution. The workforce, their families and everyone potentially affected by the closure deserve nothing less.”
GMB Scotland Organiser Bob Deavy said: “Time is beginning to slip away here and we, as of yet, are not seeing real commitment from pladis to engage meaningfully in discussions with ourselves and the Scottish Government.
“They rejected what we felt was a very fair counter proposal to keep these jobs in Scotland and were afforded scant explanations of why our proposal wasn’t appropriate. Essentially, what I am looking for now is straight talking from the Pladis management.
“They need to tell us exactly what it will take to keep these jobs in Scotland. Pladis have not honoured any of their commitments to the Trade Unions or Scottish Government.
“If they are committed to exploring all options to saving these jobs, then we need to see that through actions rather than empty words. Our members, who are Key Workers that served this country during the pandemic, deserve clarity and deserve to know that their employer who was profited from their hard graft and sacrifices over the last year and further beyond has exhausted every possible option to protect their livelihoods.”
Unite industrial officer Pat McIlvogue said: “The Action Group remains laser focused on engaging with Pladis over the future of the McVitie’s factory at Tollcross.
“It’s important to emphasise that we do see a viable future for the company having a footprint in the local area through our counter proposal, and it’s about how we can realise this ambition which is what we are trying to clarify with McVitie’s
“As long as there remains a dialogue over what can keep McVitie’s open then there is hope. However, we need to hear from the owners pladis about what is exactly required to make this a reality and the Action Group stands ready to work with the company.”
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. The meetings have been co-chaired by Economy Secretary Kate Forbes and Glasgow City Council Leader Susan Aitken.
Six meetings of the Action Group have been held to discuss alternative proposals to closure since Pladis announced plans to close the site on 11 May.