Glasgow McVities factory owners reject bailout, shutdown



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HOPES to save the historic McVitie’s factory in Glasgow and 472 jobs were dashed as the owners said they planned to proceed with the shutdown.

Turkey-owned and UK-based Pladis said an alternative plan for a new cookie factory “does not present a viable alternative.”

A report claimed the £ 50million cost of building a new cookie factory would match the money lost to the Scottish economy each year if the ax fell on the current factory.

It is estimated that the ripple effect of the closure would affect an additional 400 jobs, with a total cost to the economy estimated at £ 49million per year.

The 472 staff members have already officially received layoff notices.

Pladis said it had “carefully considered” the alternative proposals put forward in the context of the ongoing consultation with employees and their representatives.

READ MORE: Staff at McVitie’s cookie factory ‘sacked’ as unions respond to move

He said: “The alternative proposals did not present a viable alternative to the original proposal. The rationale for the proposed closure, first communicated to employees on May 11, is to address excess capacity at UK pladis sites. and protect the long-term sustainability of the business. ”

Tollcross production will be moved to other pladis sites in the UK and the plant is expected to cease operations in the second half of 2022.

David Murray, Managing Director of pladis UK & Ireland, said: “We know this will be difficult news for our colleagues at Tollcross, so it is with regret that we announce our intention to follow through on the proposal to close the site.

“Our priority is to provide employees with the ongoing support they need while we continue the consultation. Pladis is home to some of Britain’s most beloved brands that have been part of the fabric of our company for nearly two hundred years. to protect them for generations to come, we must take action to tackle excess capacity in the UK. ”

Generations of families have worked at the Glasgow Biscuit Factory, which opened in 1925 as part of Macfarlane and Lang’s Victoria Biscuit Works.

McVitie’s presence in Scotland dates back to the first Scottish cookie maker, McVitie & Price Ltd, which was established in 1830 in Edinburgh.

The unions had previously said the plant, through its parent owners, pladis, had refused to engage directly with the newly formed action group to prevent the plant from shutting down.

The group is chaired by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Kate Forbes MSP and involves unions, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Clyde Gateway and Skills Development Scotland.

Pladis said he had “engaged regularly” with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Action Group Co-Chairs Kate Forbes MSP and Councilor Susan Aitken, and Scottish Enterprise throughout the process. day.

Pladis added: “The consultation process will continue, focusing on collective redundancy provisions.”

A counter-proposal prepared by a group comprising trade unions, the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, pointed out that a new factory could be built near the existing site at a cost of just over £ 50million .

He claimed the closure of Tollcross would cost pladis, more than £ 30million, including costs such as layoffs. The sale of the Tollcross site for housing could also bring in £ 2million.

Tonight, Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney said he was “puzzled” by the announcement.

He said: “This Pladis announcement is extremely disappointing. The Scottish government, as well as Glasgow City Council GMB and Unite Union, are also puzzled by the move, as the CEO of Pladis gave the Prime Minister and myself firm assurances in July that they remain committed to work with us to consider the proposal submitted by the Action Group – a serious proposal that aims to help Pladis keep a factory in Glasgow and secure jobs at risk.

“Alongside our corporate agencies, we are currently engaging with Pladis to understand why this announcement was made and what it means for the people employed at McVities. We remain absolutely committed to working with them to find an alternative to closure.

“Our top priority remains the well-being of staff and their families and we want to reassure them that we will spare no effort to try to find a positive outcome. If Pladis decides to reject the action group’s proposals and proceed with the shutdown, the Scottish government will put in place measures to support staff who may be made redundant. ”

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