Roughly 60 apprentices caught up in Michelin Dundee closure decision

Roughly 60 apprentices caught up in Michelin Dundee closure decision

Scottish Government looking at tax breaks to help save Michelin site in Dundee

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.

He said: The decision was validated on October 9 by the executive committee at Michelin and we have been working since then to try to organise ourselves ready for this very difficult communication, and obviously identify and understand what support mechanisms we can put in place to help our people at the end of this process.

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 provide £150 million, falling short of the local authorities request for at least £200 million from each government.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay confirmed Michelin notified the Scottish Government of the decision last Wednesday, five days before its 845 workers learned their fate. Michelin blamed cheap Asian imports flooding into Europe and a growing trend of car manufacturers looking for smaller tyres.

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.

Employees were called to an emergency meeting at the French firms Baldovie plant yesterday to confirm its closure by 2020, but it has emerged management made the decision nearly a month earlier.

The people of Dundee are already feeling betrayed by the UK Governments 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.

Workers at Michelin were the last to know their jobs had been scrapped, as the firm took four weeks to notify staff and held crunch talks with Scottish Government ministers.

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.

Factory manager John Reid said the decision was made by an executive team at the companys headquarters on October 9.

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.

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.

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.

Tax breaks and government grants are ready to be deployed in the battle to save Dundees Michelin plant, says the finance secretary.

Derek Mackay has three weeks to prepare a rescue package for the Baldovie plant before presenting it to company executives.

The campaign to protect the 845 jobs starts in earnest on Monday, when Mr Mackay hosts the first meeting of the action group.

Michelin revealed plans earlier this week to close the site in 2020, blaming a drop in customer demand and cheaper rival products from Asia.

Speaking to The Courier on Wednesday, Mr Mackay said the package he proposes to the executive group at Michelin will be based on innovative interventions and potentially financial support.

Ive said that I will look again at additional resources, it might be tax incentives, it might be enterprise grants, there is a range of things we can do, he said.

The mission is to retain the plant and repurposing potentially around diversification if that ensures a future for the plant in Dundee.

He said they will find a way in partnership with Dundee City Council to slash rates bills at the site if required.

That doesnt necessarily address the competitive issue or the Asian imports, he added. Thats where the UK Government comes into play.

Mr Mackay met with the Scottish Secretary on Wednesday, where he urged him to raise the UK Governments contribution to the Tay Cities Deal by £50 million.

He said: The support Im calling for from the UK Government is specifically around additionality for the cities deal, or extra support from the industrial strategy or indeed a sector deal that supports the Michelin plant specifically and I need real action from the UK Government.

The Scottish Government said they asked the UK Governments Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to attend next weeks launch of the action group.

Mr Mackay said: Ive invited the Business Secretary and the junior minister. They say they cannot attend, thats unfortunate, but hopefully the Secretary of State (for Scotland) comes.

Asked if he was disappointed there was no firm commitment from Mr Mundell, the MSP said: Its up to David Mundell to answer for his diary. Im a busy man too but Im going to be there on Monday.

The Scottish Government hopes the proposition to executives in about three weeks will be made in Scotland.

We are not throwing in the towel. In fact we are doing everything possible to save the plant to retain a future and to protect the workforce at all costs.

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