McVitie’s issues redundancy notices as owner ‘refuses to engage’

Unions say owners Pladis refused to participate with the Scottish Government established action group.

McVitie’s issues redundancy notices as owner ‘refuses to engage’ STV News

Glasgow McVitie’s workers have received redundancy notices as a fight goes on to save the factory.

Pladis, the global company that owns the Tollcross site, said the closure would mean almost 500 people’s jobs were threatened and formally issued redundancies on Thursday.

Trade Unions Unite Scotland and GMB Scotland, jointly representing 472 of the McVitie’s workers, branded the move “an absolute disgrace” and claimed the company refused to engage with the action group set up by the Scottish Government.

With a meeting of the group, chaired by finance minister Kate Forbes, scheduled for June 23 to discuss proposals to maintain a presence at the Tollcross factory, GMB Scotland organiser David Hume said issuing redundancy notices was “an act of extreme bad faith”.

Operations at the factory are expected to cease later in 2022 with production of Hobnobs and Rich Tea Biscuits moving to one of six Pladis sites in England.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace and slap in the face to the workforce that not only has McVitie’s formally issued redundancy notices but they are also refusing to engage with the action group established by the Scottish Government.”

David Murray, Pladis UK and Ireland managing director, previously said action had to be taken at the Tollcross plant to tackle “excess capacity”.

Mr Hume said: “David Murray needs to be hauled by the cabinet secretary before the members of the action group because this is a profitable business with an innovative workforce that can and should have a future in the east end of Glasgow.”

A petition calling for the McVitie’s factory to be saved has more than 50,000 signatures.

Forbes said the Action Group would meet next week to see what could be done to support affected staff and secure these jobs and asked Pladis to engage.

She said: “This is really disappointing news and my thoughts are with those affected and their families. This will be a very anxious and distressing time for them, especially during these uncertain times, and we stand ready to provide support.

“The Action Group has met frequently to discuss what could be done to save the site and the jobs and just last week we presented a series of proposals as an alternative to site closure. We are therefore extremely disappointed Pladis has decided to notify staff they are at risk of redundancy.”

A spokesperson for pladis said: “We can confirm that we have today issued the HR1 notice; a letter which is a part of the formal consultation process on our proposal to close our factory in Tollcross. ​

“In recent weeks we have been frequently engaging with our trade union representatives and the Action Group co-chaired by cabinet secretary Kate Forbes and councillor Susan Aitken. We remain committed to meaningful consultation with our employees and their representatives.”

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