Friday , October 22 2021

The Michelin advertising group meets to save the Dundee factory


A working group has gathered in the city to rescue jobs at the Dundee tire factory in danger of closure.

The economic secretary, Derek Mackay, chaired the first assembly of the panel formed after the company announced plans to stop production at a plant employing 845 people.

Representatives of Michelin, Unite, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise were among those who discussed options regarding the site, including factory acquisitions.

Scottish secretary David Mundell participated on behalf of the British government.

Mr. Mackay, who had previously held talks with senior executives at a French company, said he was hoping to present the best possible proposal when he would meet them again in about three weeks.

He said: "The group is exploring a range of options that recognize that we want to save the site.

"We want to keep Michelin presence in Dundee, but we look at research and development, production, and the circular economy – many possibilities to present the best possible Michelin proposal.

"We will have to work hard to build this proposal."

He added: "I see the challenge we face – it is a huge challenge, but I am absolutely focused on it and will not be left with any obstacle to try to find solutions that Michelin will provide to ensure their continued presence in Dundee and protect employees at all costs. "

"I do not leave the stone without a retreat to try to find solutions that will introduce Michelin to ensure their continued presence in Dundee."

Derek Mackay, Scottish Economy Secretary

Michelin said the market for lower premium tires, such as those manufactured at the Tayside plant, dropped significantly due to the increase in cheap imports from Asia and the transition to larger car tires.

The factory, which was opened in 1972, is considered the largest industrial employer in Dundee.

Council Chairman John Alexander said the meeting was fruitful, but the group had no illusions about the task ahead.

He said: "Michelin has clearly stated the rationale for its decision, taking into account market conditions beyond our control.

"What we can influence is the future of the plant.

"We have a lot of work to do next week before we meet again.

"In the meantime, a series of talks will take place to increase the number of proposals." | default

Mr Mundell said after the meeting: "We want to present the strongest possible case.

"I think that everybody is realist, especially employees, in connection with the challenges to be met, but we have a chance in the next three weeks and we must do it.

"The UK government will work closely with the Scottish government, and the council and other stakeholders will be involved in developing the proposals.

"It's about putting the ball [Michelin’s] in court, about inventing the most credible and convincing case, and we want to play our part in ensuring that. "

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