Ac­tion group in fight to save Miche­lin tyre fac­tory

Politi­cians, and trade unions join forces in res­cue bid

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By KA­TRINE BUSSEY

Politi­cians, busi­ness lead­ers and trade unions will join forces in a bid to save the clo­surethreat­ened Miche­lin tyre fac­tory in Dundee.

The Scot­tish Govern­ment has an­nounced de­tails of the ac­tion group that is be­ing set up to look at al­ter­na­tive fu­tures for the plant and its 845 work­ers.

It will be led by Dundee City Coun­cil leader John Alexan­der and Steve Dun­lop, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Scot­tish En­ter­prise, with both Scot­tish fi­nance and econ­omy sec­re­tary Derek Mackay and Sec­re­tary of State for Scot­land David Mun­dell also in­volved, as well as John Reid, di­rec­tor of Dundee’s Miche­lin site. It comes af­ter Nicola Stur­geon pledged Scot­tish min­is­ters would “leave no stone un­turned” in the ef­forts to se­cure a “pos­i­tive fu­ture” for the fac­tory. Miche­lin’s an­nounce­ment the site is to be closed in less than two years was “devastating”, she said, adding her thoughts were with the staff there and their fam­i­lies. The French­based tyre firm have given Mr Mackay three weeks to come up with an al­ter­na­tive to clos­ing the plant.

“They, whilst not want­ing to re­visit the de­ci­sion, are at least giv­ing me a hear­ing in about three weeks’ time so I can put that of­fer to them,” he said.

The Miche­lin ac­tion group has now been tasked with de­vel­op­ing the re­sponse and will meet for the first time in the city on Mon­day. It also in­cludes se­nior fig­ures from the Unite trade union, busi­ness lead­ers from the area, in­clud­ing Dundee Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Ali­son Hen­der­son, and Damien Yeates, head of skills and train­ing body Skills De­vel­op­ment Scot­land. In ad­di­tion to this, the group will seek ex­pert ad­vice from man­u­fac­tur­ing lead­ers in­clud­ing Dr Hamid Mughal, co-chair of the stra- te­gic lead­er­ship group of the Na­tional Man­u­fac­tur­ing In­sti­tute for Scot­land. Mr Alexan­der pledged the group would “hit the ground run­ning” and would be fo­cused solely on keeping Miche­lin in Dundee.

He stated: “It is im­per­a­tive the mem­ber­ship of the ac­tion group re­flects stake­hold­ers, ex­pe­ri­ence and those with an abil­ity to find so­lu­tions. I’m de­lighted to say I be­lieve those iden­ti­fied do just that. This ac­tion group will hit the ground run­ning with one fo­cus, to re­tain Miche­lin’s foot­print in Dundee. I want to thank the Scot­tish Govern­ment, in par­tic­u­lar, for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port for the work­force and the city at this dif­fi­cult time.”

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