Thursday, 08 November 2018 10:41

PRIME MINISTER FACES CALLS TO SUPPORT MICHELIN

The Prime Minister has faced calls from Dundee’s four SNP parliamentarians to commit to working with the Scottish Government to support the workforce at Dundee’s Michelin plant.
 

Stewart Hosie MP, Shona Robison MSP, Chris Law MP and Joe FitzPatrick MSP have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Scotland following the announcement from Michelin that their Dundee plant will close by mid-2020.
 
The plant, at Baldovie in Dundee, employs 845 people and contributes around £30 million per year to the local area in wages alone.
 
The MPs and MSPs have also criticised the UK Government for ‘shortchanging’ Dundee and Tayside through the funding of the Tay Cities Deal. The Scottish Government has indicated its willingness to provide £200 million for the Tay Cities Deal, but in his budget two weeks ago, the Chancellor stated that the UK Government would only provide £150 million, falling short of the local authorities’ request for at least £200 million from each government.
 
Commenting Stewart Hosie MP said:
 
“I am heartbroken by this announcement and absolutely devastated for the workers, their families and for the local community.

“In the coming days and weeks, I will be speaking to the Trade Unions, the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council to explore options and to identify how we can best work together to support the workers at Michelin and secure the future of the site.
 
“As Councillor John Alexander said earlier in the week; Michelin is part of the fabric of Dundee and it is important that we do everything we can to protect and preserve the high quality manufacturing and jobs at the site. I fully support the Scottish Government’s commitment to leave no stone unturned to safeguard the future of Michelin Dundee.
 
“The people of Dundee are already feeling betrayed by the UK Government’s shortchanging of the city through the Tay Cities Deal. The Prime Minister must not ignore Dundee again and must do everything she can to support the workforce, the families affected and the city as a whole.
 
"This will be a difficult time for the workers and for the city as a whole. Constituents can raise concerns with me directly by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."
 
Commenting Shona Robison MSP said:
 
“This has been devastating news for the workers, their families and everyone in Dundee. Michelin is an iconic business in the city and its workforce have over the years shown huge commitment and flexibility.

“The Scottish Government and Dundee City Council have been clear that they will do everything possible to protect the workforce and explore options for a sustainable future at the site, and I will do whatever I can to support these efforts.

“The Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and I met earlier this week with representatives of the workforce & local managers to discuss the future of the Dundee plant. I very much welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement that an action group is being convened urgently, and that the first meeting of this group will take place on Monday. The action group will be bringing forward proposals for the site’s future, and Michelin have agreed to consider these.

“The Scottish Government has committed £200 million to the Tay Cities Deal and, given the announcement about Michelin, I today reaffirm my call to the UK Government to match this investment and provide additional support to help deliver a future for Michelin in Dundee.

“I will be offering whatever support that I can for everyone affected by this announcement, and will work with all to try to secure a future for the Michelin plant.”
 
Commenting Chris Law MP said:

“This was not only devastating news for many of my constituents and their families but also for Dundee. They rightly need quick action from all partners, including the UK Government.


“The Chancellor earlier this week claimed that the UK is now benefiting from a “boom” in fiscal revenues. The UK Government now have a clear opportunity to use this boom and prove that austerity across the country is now truly over, by providing the necessary support to the Michelin workforce and by working with all partners to ensure that the workers and their local communities are not let down.
 
“This must include exploring every available option, including the UK Government meeting their £50 million shortfall in the Tay Cities Deal. I will continue to press them over this in the coming weeks.”
 
Commenting Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:
 
“The announcement this week affects so many families across Dundee and they should know that our whole city is behind them at this difficult time.
 
“The Scottish Government has responded quickly, with my colleague Derek Mackay MSP, the Economy Secretary, flying out to meet with Michelin executives in Paris and then coming to Dundee earlier this week to meet the management, unions, and some staff, as well as to convene an action group in partnership with Dundee City Council.
 
“The UK Government must now work in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Council to ensure that all possibilities are explored in an effort to secure a future for the Michelin plant.”
 
ENDS
 
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 
Copy of Letter:
 
To: Prime Minister, Chancellor, SoS BEIS, SoS Scotland.
 
Future of Michelin in Dundee
 
As the elected representatives for Dundee, sitting in both the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament, we are extremely concerned and disappointed by the recent announcement from Michelin to close their tyre manufacturing plant in Dundee by mid-2020. We have also written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Secretary of State for Scotland.
 
Michelin is the largest industrial employer in our city, providing 850 much-needed jobs in the field of tyre-manufacturing. The impact of this site’s closure and the subsequent job losses that will occur will devastate the workforce, their families and the city as a whole.
 
It is important that all involved parties provide the necessary support to save these jobs, support the workforce and maintain the high quality manufacturing at the site. We have received assurances from the Scottish Government that they are committed to this cause.
 
At Treasury Questions yesterday, the Chancellor committed to work with the Scottish Government, Dundee City Council, and partners to explore all potential solutions for the site and its workforce. We would be grateful for any details that you could offer about the kind of support that the UK Government is prepared to offer as part of this process.
 
As you are aware, the finalisation of the Tay Cities Deal is to be announced shortly. The UK Government committed £50 million less than the £200 million that the Scottish Government has said it is prepared to invest, resulting in a shortfall in the £400 million minimum sum requested by the local authorities. In light of the announcement by Michelin, will the UK Government now reconsider its commitment and explore all investment opportunities to help save these jobs and support the workforce?
 
Finally, is there anything that can be done through the UK Government’s industrial strategy to help save the largest industrial workforce in Dundee from redundancy, and prove that the UK Government is truly committed to helping industry thrive in Scotland? The Scottish Government has indicated that the action group it is convening will seek to put a proposal before Michelin within the next three weeks, so time is very much of the essence and your assurances that the UK Government is willing to act swiftly and decisively on these matters would be welcome.
 
It is crucial that the workforce is supported by any means necessary. Our constituents fully expect both the UK Government and Scottish Government to work in partnership to explore all options and a failure by the UK Government to do so would be a failure to support the city of Dundee at this difficult time.
 

ENDS
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