Unite the union has today (Wednesday 22nd January) announced that it will open an industrial action ballot tomorrow (Thursday 23 January) covering over 80 workers at Cummins UK in Cumbernauld.

A week before Christmas the company confirmed the closure of its manufacturing operations after a 90-day consultation period. If the ballot is successful then strike action, and action short of a strike including an overtime ban, is expected to take place from late February 2020.

Cummins' management has repeatedly failed to engage around alternative options to keep the site open. In a series of negotiations over the last few days Cummins refused to enter into dialogue with Unite through the auspices of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and rejected plans brought forward by the Scottish government to diversify the factory’s operations.

The Scottish government has offered financial assistance to keep the factory open through the development and production of hydrogen cell batteries. The company remain intent on closing the factory despite admitting it did not need to before autumn 2020 prior to the alternative plans being brought forward.

Unite regional industrial officer Pat McIlvogue said: “Unite members have been left with no option but to hold an industrial action ballot. Just before Christmas the company confirmed that it was intent on closing the factory despite a number of viable options being on the table to keep the site open.

“Over the last few days the company has refused point blank to engage with Unite in talks through Acas and has also rejected the Scottish government’s efforts to diversify the factory’s operations even with financial assistance. Unite members remain defiant and they are prepared to take all action necessary to secure some form of justice from this callous company.”


Notes to editors:

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.