Trade union says workers ‘remain in the dark’

Unite the union has today (31 May) slammed the owners of the Dundee based Bonar Yarns after the workers were verbally informed by management that the firm is set to close.

The manufacturing company which has a 100-years long history in Dundee employs around 60 workers. The business was sold to Newman Yarns Limited after it fell into administration in April 2023.

Newman Yarns was founded by John Newman, owner of Elite Turf USA, a leading distributor and installer of synthetic sports turf. Elite Turf USA was previously a customer of Bonar Yarns.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “The Bonar Yarns workers have been treated disgracefully by the new owners. The firm has been based in Dundee for 100 years and it would be a tragedy if it permanently closes. We are calling on all interested parties including Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government to work with Unite to save these jobs.”

Unite has confirmed that is now exploring a protective award against Newman Yarns Limited on behalf of its members after management verbally informed the workforce that the plant will close on Friday (26 May).

On Monday (29 May), management then stated through communications to the workers that there would be a 2 weeks redundancy notice. To date no written redundancy notices have been issued to the workforce. 

Dougie Orchardson, Unite industrial officer, added: “Around 60 workers based at the firm remain in the dark. What they have been informed of to date is that the factory will close in 2 weeks’ time. Yet, they have received no written confirmation of this and the whole process has been a shambles.

Unite is now actively exploring all legal avenues on behalf of our members including a protective award claim in the event of closure. But we still believe there is a future for the company and the workers, and this remains our priority.”

The company’s products include yarns made from recycled polypropylene for the artificial sports turf market and UV stabilised yarns for the outdoor flooring market. Accounts for the year to November 30 2022, show Bonar Yarns sales of £6.8m. It also made profit of £107,000.


Notes to Editor

A Protective Award can be awarded where more than 20 employees are made redundant from one location within specific time frames. Employment tribunals can make various awards from 45 days to 90 days.