Dundee’s four SNP parliamentarians have called on the Prime Minister to commit to working with the Scottish Government to support the workforce at Dundee’s Michelin plant
Stewart Hosie MP, Shona Robison MSP, Chris Law MP and Joe FitzPatrick MSP have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Scotland following the announcement from Michelin that their Dundee plant will close by mid-2020.
The plant, at Baldovie in Dundee, employs 845 people and contributes around £30 million per year to the local area in wages alone.
The Scottish Government has indicated its willingness to provide £200 million for the Tay Cities Deal, but in his budget two weeks ago, the Chancellor stated that the UK Government would provide £150 million, falling short of the local authorities’ request for at least £200 million from each government.
Commenting Stewart Hosie MP said: “I am heartbroken by this announcement and absolutely devastated for the workers, their families and for the local community.
“In the coming days and weeks, I will be speaking to the Trade Unions, the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council to explore options and to identify how we can best work together to support the workers at Michelin and secure the future of the site.
“The people of Dundee are already feeling betrayed by the UK Government’s shortchanging of the city through the Tay Cities Deal.
“The Prime Minister must not ignore Dundee again and must do everything she can to support the workforce, the families affected and the city as a whole.
Shona Robison MSP said: “This has been devastating news for the workers, their families and everyone in Dundee. Michelin is an iconic business in the city and its workforce have over the years shown huge commitment and flexibility.
“The Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and I met earlier this week with representatives of the workforce & local managers to discuss the future of the Dundee plant.
“The Scottish Government has committed £200 million to the Tay Cities Deal and, given the announcement about Michelin, I today reaffirm my call to the UK Government to match this investment and provide additional support to help deliver a future for Michelin in Dundee.
Chris Law MP said: “This was not only devastating news for many of my constituents and their families but also for Dundee. They rightly need quick action from all partners, including the UK Government.
“The Chancellor earlier this week claimed that the UK is now benefiting from a “boom” in fiscal revenues. The UK Government now have a clear opportunity to use this boom and prove that austerity across the country is now truly over, by providing the necessary support to the Michelin workforce and by working with all partners to ensure that the workers and their local communities are not let down.
Joe FitzPatrick MSP said: “The announcement this week affects so many families across Dundee and they should know that our whole city is behind them at this difficult time.
“The Scottish Government has responded quickly, with my colleague Derek Mackay MSP, the Economy Secretary, flying out to meet with Michelin executives in Paris and then coming to Dundee earlier this week to meet the management, unions, and some staff, as well as to convene an action group in partnership with Dundee City Council.
“The UK Government must now work in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Council to ensure that all possibilities are explored in an effort to secure a future for the Michelin plant.”