Dundee’s Michelin factory is to close for two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Bosses at the tyre manufacturer have reassured workers they will not lose wages as a result.
They have however asked staff not to go out to public places such as pubs and restaurants, in accordance with government advice.
The factory’s last production shift will be on March 27, with a scheduled reopening of April 13.
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In a message to factory workers, plant manager John Reid said: “In line with Michelin’s management of its sites across Europe we have decided to close the factory for a two week period.
“This measure is designed to reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the workforce and to allow us to quarantine the site.
“To make this happen we’ve added a week to the already planned April stoppage, meaning our last production shift will be on March 27. This will have no impact on pay.”
Mr Reid said that the firm’s main priority was to support workers and help protect workers and their families.
He said: “To make this work we will need do do our bit and follow government guidelines.
“We need to stop going to pubs and restaurants, limit our social contacts, self isolate if we develop symptoms and take our hygiene very seriously.
“If we don’t then the two week opportunity has been for nothing. Workers need to think about this and rake real care.”
Mr Reid added that as part of the work at the factory the crisis team were going to set their own internal standards of behaviour and minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
He added: “It’s also clear that lots of questions are being asked of the personnel team, managers and the unions.
“We will set up a question and answer list and share them so everyone has access to all the questions being asked and the definitive answers being given.”
In a statement to the Tele Mr Reid said: “In light of the rapid escalation of the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation, we’re going to stop production temporarily from March 27 until April 13.
“Short-term factory closures in Europe are making it difficult to source key materials and we want to make sure our employees are as safe as possible. We’re absolutely committed to safety and we believe this will help protect our workforce as well as the wider community.”
Bob McGregor of Unite the Union said: “The union has been in talks with Michelin and we have agreed to the factory being closed for the extra two week period as from next Friday.
“Workers will continue to be paid in the meantime during this closure.”
“This is a very worrying time for workers in all sectors. It is clear that some people will lose their jobs and the union is working hard in a bid to minimise the affects.
Mr McGregor said he was concerned that if things continued to deteriorate it could take a decade for business and industry to recover.
He said: “The harm that is being caused is significant and we all have to do our bit in the meantime to continue to follow government guidelines and try to prevent the further spread of this illness.”
It has been working in partnership with Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise to create Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, in order to “drive growth and diversity in the Scottish economy while addressing the global climate emergency”.
Only last month Michelin announced it would relaunch a scheme which the company says will help create hundreds of jobs in Dundee and Angus, worth around £5 million.
The firm said “at least 850 jobs are expected to be created” and Michelin Development has also “targeted support for 850 new jobs”.