Unite demands Berry BPI ‘intervention’ ahead of Scottish Government crisis meeting
- Tuesday 15 August 2023
Greenock based packaging manufacturer faces closure by Christmas
Unite the union has demanded ‘immediate intervention’ by the Scottish Government over the potential loss of 68 job at the Greenock based Berry BPI factory.
Ahead of a crisis meeting with Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy this afternoon (15 August at 4.45pm), Unite said that ‘no stone will be left unturned’ in a bid to save the jobs. The workforce manufactures a range of products for the construction, industrial packaging and healthcare sectors.
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Berry BPI has an extremely hardworking and loyal workforce. The factory can still have a bright future but this requires immediate intervention on the part of the Scottish Government and other public bodies.”
“There is a choice to make here, which is the products manufactured for public contracts can be made in Greenock or they can be made on the other side of the globe only to be shipped back to Scotland. No stone will be left unturned in an effort to save these skilled manufacturing jobs.”
The trade union, which represents the Berry BPI workforce, identified the delays to the Scottish Government’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), alongside the loss of public sector contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE), as the ‘primary drivers’ behind the proposed closure.
Berry BPI had been working with Circularity Scotland to plan ahead for the introduction of the Scottish Government’s DRS. Due to the scheme’s delay until at least October 2025, any potential contracts with Circularity Scotland have now also been lost.
Siobhan McCready, Unite industrial officer, added: “The recent loss of two large NHS orders, potentially to companies overseas based on the cheapest cost, along with delays to the deposit return scheme are the primary drivers behind Berry BPI’s recent statement on closure.”
“It’s important to say that the products our members make are critical, such as PPE for NHS staff. What’s required here is for everyone to proactively look at ways to support the jobs through sustainable public contracts.”