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Unite calls for government help at Doosan Babcock

Unite calls for government help at Doosan Babcock

07 February 2017

Unite the union has asked the Scottish Government to help get answers over massive job cuts at a Renfrewshire manufacturer.

In November, Doosan Babcock announced plans to cut around 270 staff at its offices and manufacturing facility in Renfrew.

Unite organised a meeting between the company and the Scottish Government on 14 December, and was able to secure an extension of the consultation on the plans, until the end of January.

But the union says the consultation has shown that there are opportunities to maintain a presence in Renfrew and to save jobs. The union has now written to ask Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown MSP to get involved again. 

Unite regional officer Alison MacLean said: “We have discovered that the company has a full order book up until the end of March, and there is clear evidence of strong demand from clients for the high-quality work produced by our members at Renfrew. 

“There is so much work, that the company has had to introduce a completion bonus for machine shop members in an attempt to get orders fulfilled. Some of our members have been told that they could now be kept on until the end of March or end of April.

“More and more, we believe the company has made a mistake in pushing ahead with these closure plans. Instead of a snap reaction to short-term market conditions, they should be thinking ahead and planning for the future. 

“We hope the minister and his officials can take a look at the evidence and help the company realise that Doosan Babcock has a future in Renfrew. That would be good for them, good for our members, and good for the regional economy in Renfrewshire and beyond.”

At the previous meeting with the minister in December, Doosan Babcock gave a commitment to explore opportunities to protect jobs, including upskilling and retraining of workers with additional support from the Scottish Government’s Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

Alison MacLean said: “We welcomed the company’s previous commitment to extending the consultation on their plans and to working with PACE. But since then, we’ve become concerned that they are not taking seriously our proposals to save jobs. 

“The consultation needs to be more than a tick box exercise, and all proposals to save jobs should be taken extremely seriously. We hope the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise can help us do that.”

ENDS

Notes to editors 

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org