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468 jobs go

Forbes concedes defeat in bid save McVities plant

McVities-Glasgow

Doomed: biscuit factory

Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes today conceded defeat in the battle to save a historic biscuit factory.

An action group met for a ninth time to discuss measures to prevent the closure of the McVities plant in Glasgow, but the owner, Pladis, has rejected its plans to save it and 468 jobs.

Speaking following the meeting, Ms Forbes said: “The Pladis Action Group has worked tirelessly to develop and table credible, sensible counter proposals for consideration by Pladis to retain its presence in Scotland and retain the jobs of the skilled workforce.

“I very sadly accept that our attempts to persuade Pladis that there was a viable alternative to closure have not been successful.

“My thoughts are with the workforce and their families who are now facing a redundancy situation, and we will continue to support them throughout this next period.

“Pladis has always indicated a responsibility and willingness to discuss the potential legacy options for the site and we look forward to engaging constructively with them on what we can achieve to fulfil this ambition.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow City Council is committed to working with our partners to develop a legacy that provides infrastructure that attracts a new age of manufacturing to the east end of the city and provides jobs for the future.”

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer said: “Unite has expressed huge disappointment that the tracks have finally run out on finding a satisfactory resolution to the closure of the McVities site in Tollcross.

“Despite rigorous attempts by Unite to ensure a future for the factory, McVities have finally put paid to any continuation of biscuit production at Tollcross.

“Unite believes there are opportunities for McVities to leave a lasting legacy by providing resources that could involve the repurposing of the site, enabling the workers and the wider Tollcross community to have a future they can depend on. Unite is calling for McVities to do the right thing before they switch off the lights at the Tollcross site.”

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Robert Deavy, GMB Scotland organiser said: “Whilst GMB are satisfied that the redundancy process was finalised in an amicable manner which proved agreeable to our Union members, it is still a disappointment that no serious consideration was truly given to the counter proposal set out by the Action Group to keep these vital manufacturing jobs in Scotland. 

“What we are requesting now is that Pladis co-operate with the Government and Trade Unions to ensure that a proper legacy is left at this historic site should the company finalise the decision to vacate. It remains the fact that this is the end of an era and an institution in Glasgow’s East End and we feel that the area should be respected as such.”

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.



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