Michelin Action Group members unveiled in hope they are saviours of Dundee plant

Michelin Action Group members unveiled in hope they are saviours of Dundee plant

SNP call for Prime Minister to work with Scottish Government to save Dundees Michelin plant

The trainees – who are at various stages in their four-year apprenticeship programme – are affiliated to the Michelin Training and Information Centre which operates from a standalone unit on the Baldovie site.

In normal circumstances those apprentices – who specialise in areas such as mechanical or electrical engineering – would expect to be taken on full-time with the company at the end of their four-year training programme.

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 remaining group of trainees are employed by outside companies and have been placed with Michelin for the purpose of completing their apprentice training.

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.

The latest Dundee apprentice cohort started their training in August when they were symbolically kitted out with their Michelin greens.

Marc Jackson, Unite Michelin convener, said: It is important to stress to the workforce and the wider community in Dundee that Unite has a viable plan on the table. It is a plan that can work for the workforce and the company.

The group included 13 new apprentices, seven of whom were Michelin affiliated and six from third party partners.

Grant Ritchie, the principal of Dundee and Angus College, said it was vital the apprentices were able to complete their training.

Mr Reid said staff had not been made aware of the situation sooner because it takes time to prepare in an appropriate fashion so that we understand how we are going to support our teams.

He said the college was due to meet with Michelin next week to find out how it could help on a practical level.

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.

But he stressed the doors were open to the apprentices and the hundreds of other redundancy threatened Michelin workers who were now contemplating retraining and reskilling.

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

Myself and a couple of our people are going to see Michelin next Wednesday to see what we can do to support the workforce, Mr Ritchie said.

Some of the apprentices will be able to see their time out at Michelin over the next 18 months or so but there are others who just started in August.

We can use our networks to try to place them with other engineering companies who tend to rally around at times like this.

And if someone wants to come in full-time on an HNC or HND programme then that is fine, we can organise that and make that happen.

Mr Ritchie said the college had already had initial discussions with central funders to identify the financial resources to ensure a useful response to the crisis.

He also said the college was ready and willing to explore options for reskilling and retraining Michelins administrative support staff.

He added: There is obviously a lot of people here but if people want to retrain and do other things then our doors are open.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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