Governments must work to stop Michelin closure

Scottish Labour’s two most senior figures have written a joint letter calling on the UK and Scottish governments to do everything possible to save the jobs of the workers at the Michelin factory in Dundee.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Lesley Laird have urged both the Tory and SNP administrations to work together to save the factory, which employs more than 800 people.

In their letter, the Scottish Labour leadership suggest immediate action that could be taken to help save the factory, including:

•             Demanding the UK Treasury immediately provide the extra £50million originally promised to the region as part of the Tay Cities Deal. 

•             Demanding both the UK and Scottish governments review their use of public procurement to assess whether additional orders could be placed with the factory.

•             Urging both governments to work closely with trade unions to help save the factory and protect jobs. 


The text of the joint letter states: 

 Dear Philip, David and Derek,

 As you will be aware, this week Michelin Tyres has stated its intention to close its Dundee factory with the loss of around 850 jobs.

The Michelin factory provides much needed jobs for Dundee, but also training and skills.

Dundee has suffered disproportionately as a result of deindustrialisation and a further loss of skilled jobs would undoubtedly be devastating for the city and region.

Now is the time for both the UK and Scottish governments to step up and support Dundee and these workers and their families in this time of need.

The first priority must be supporting trade unions in their efforts to keep the factory open – this needs the cooperation and support of both governments to succeed.  Labour MSPs, MPs and local councillors also stand ready to provide any and all assistance needed to keep the factory open.

This effort should also be coupled with an immediate review of public procurement by both the UK and Scottish governments to assess whether additional orders could be placed at the factory, as part of efforts to ensure its long-term future. 

But the upcoming Tay Cities Deal also provides an opportunity to inject new investment into the local economy.

That is why we are now urging the UK Government to provide the full £200million of funding for the Tay Cities Deal that was initially promised, matching the funding provided by the Scottish Government.

An extra £50million would provide a welcome stimulus to a region, support for the supply chain and help pave the way for an industrial strategy for Dundee.

Given the urgency of the situation and the understandable concerns of the workforce, we would welcome a response as soon as possible.