Michelin Dundee will not restart tyre production when Covid-19 ‘lock down’ restrictions are lifted.
Michelin had initially planned to pause production until April 13, when it intended to restart manufacturing until the factory’s eventual closure in June.
A spokesman said the company believes the growing challenges caused by the Covid-19 outbreak mean that resuming production is unviable and unwise.
The decision has been taken in agreement with the Unite union and all employees will continue to be paid at their normal rate until the end of June.
Output was already extremely low when the machines were turned off on March 23. Stocks of the tyre sizes made by Michelin Dundee are high, and they are not used by critical services such as ambulances.
In addition, there were concerns that bringing many people together in a workplace could create safety issues.
In line with previous commitments, there will be intensive job search and wellbeing support available to all employees – although most of this will now be online to reduce risk.
John Reid, factory manager at Michelin Dundee, said employees would be mobilised to volunteer for projects set up by the community, government and health services to support people during the Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Reid added: “Our priority remains the safety of our workforce. This is an unexpected end to tyre production at our factory, but we believe this is the best decision for our employees and their families.
“We will be developing a new employability programme to help people find their next positive destination, be that retirement, further education or a new job.
“We’re also conscious that some people will find being confined to their homes tough, so wellbeing support will continue to be important.
“We will be using technology and social media combined with a limited presence on site until the virus allows more normal working.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our team in Dundee for their support and hard work during what has been a very challenging time.”