Evening Telegraph

Michelin jobs threat came ‘out of the blue’ for Dundee workers

Michelin in Dundee

Michelin workers have spoken of their shock at news the tyre maker is considering axing jobs at its Dundee plant.

The French manufacturing giant has blamed cheap imports from Asia for the “extremely challenging trading conditions” and said it was exploring all options – including reducing headcount – to “maximise the efficiency of the plant”.

One worker said the first they knew about possible job losses was on Sunday afternoon.

He said: “We knew through recent briefings from management that there were concerns about the market but I don’t think we were prepared for this.

“People are very worried. We have children and mortgages and there’s real concern about the future.”

Another employee said the news had come “out of the blue”.

He said: “We understand management and our union are trying to work out the best solution.”

Michelin in Dundee

There are about 850 people employed at Michelin’s plant on Baldovie Road, which specialises in smaller dimension tyres. The company said its three-year production forecast was “significantly below capacity” at 5.4 million tyres per year.

Marc Jackson, Unite’s senior shop steward at the factory, said: “Our members can be assured that we will be looking to protect their terms and conditions and to maximise jobs on site.”

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “We shouldn’t forget Michelin has faced difficulty before, in fact, full closure.

“It was the ingenuity, proactivity and determination of local management, the workers themselves and the pragmatism of the trade unions that ensured that did not come to pass.

“That approach is one which I’m sure will be replicated. Michelin is a Dundee institution and the city will rally behind them and the workers.”

Labour’s city development spokesman Councillor Richard McCready said: “Protecting these jobs must become a priority.”