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Dundee Plant Closure With 117 Job Losses

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Flint Group Close Dundee Plant With A Loss 117 Jobs After Company Reject Proposals From GMB Scotland To Save Plant

Flint Group want all production based in the USA thus missing a massive opportunity to use the Dundee plant to expand their market share in Europe say GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland, the union for workers in the chemicals and manufacturing industries, responded to the closure of the Flint Group plant in Dundee will with a loss of 117 manufacturing jobs in the print and packaging supplies industry.

This announcement comes after GMB Scotland had worked tirelessly since 12th January after members were told of the potential closure on the mammoth task of coming up with a proposal in 45 days, despite many requests for more time. See notes to editors for copy of GMB Scotland press release in January on the threat of closure.

Drew Duffy, GMB Scotland Organiser, said “117 workers will be out of work, local businesses will also be hit as suppliers and even the local butcher who has built up a good lunchtime relationship with the staff will suffer. These are men and women that have given years of loyal service to this company and now face the prospect of singing on as unemployed.

We put forward proposals to make efficiency savings and came up with potential saving of over £6 million, but it would have involved Flint making some bold decisions and that was refused. We are disappointed, but not surprised by their decision.

We've been looking at everything we possibly can over the last few weeks and felt we came up with a fantastic proposal to save the Dundee plant, but that was torn apart as Flint Group want all their production to be based in the USA. Flint Group has missed a massive opportunity to use the Dundee plant to expand their market share in Europe.

The workers in Dundee produce a very high quality product and had we started these discussions this time last year we wouldn't have had 8 weeks to save the plant. The possibility of an employee buyout or selling the plant was also discussed, but impossible to put together in such a short space of time.

We have members that have worked there since they were 17, members that work at the plant with their sons and started there with their dads. Three generations of families working on this site comes to an end today.

We have had several meetings with Jenny Marra MSP and she has been a huge support for the team set up to save the plant. We've been focussed on how we sell Dundee as a place to do business, as Dundee has had more than its fair share of job losses over the years. This is a massive blow to Dundee and I encourage any employer out there looking for good quality workers to get in touch, we need your help to find these men and women work.

The staff will pay the price for years of mismanagement, but we are continuing negotiations into getting the staff the best redundancy package possible that recognises the hard work every employee has put into this company for many years. The site was due to celebrate its 60th year in April this year but instead it's being closed before then.


Jenny Marra MSP, added "I am bitterly disappointed in the Flint group decision. We have a profitable factory in Dundee and a workforce that are willing to look at anything to keep production in this city, but management have turned down ideas and cost savings that have been presented by the workforce.

Flint could still be gracious to the workforce that have served them so loyally for years and give Dundee six months for us to put together a sustainable buy-out plan. I hope they will examine their consciences and seriously consider this stay of execution in the interest of their workers."

End

Contact: Drew Duffy 07912 560 806 or Gary Smith on 07710 618909 or 0141 332 8641 or Stuart Fegan 07912 890434 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880.

Notes to editors

1 Copy of GMB Scotland press release dated 14th January

Gmb Scotland To Call Meeting Of Members Facing Loss Of 117 Jobs At Flint Group In Dundee

Scotland is on the brink of jobs crisis -  we have had jobs go at BP, Hawick Knitwear,  these jobs in Dundee, steel industry job plus 30,000 public sector jobs going-  says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland, the union for workers in the chemicals and manufacturing industries, commented on the news that the Dundee site of the Flint Group is under threat of closure with a loss 117  manufacturing jobs in the print and packaging supplies industry. See notes to editors for copy of news report on the BBC website.

Drew Duffy, GMB Scotland regional officer, said "The Dundee site makes products for the whole of Europe. Last year the Dundee site made a profit and we were told a month ago Dundee was on course to make a pre-tax profit of over £800,000. The announcement to potentially close the plant was a total shock, we did not expect this.

The site is being closed for 2 reasons. Their energy costs are too high and the cost of materials is too high in Dundee compared to their 2 American sites. A local energy company has been in touch to say they would look to fit solar panels and LED lighting on a non-profit basis if Flint Group pick up the cost of the panels and lights. This would make a massive difference to the energy costs.

117 members of staff work on the site and Dundee is on the brink of an employment disaster. There are not 117 jobs available elsewhere and we found out this week Dundee City Council will need to cut 750 jobs. Enough is enough! Dundee cannot take much more of this. We have members that have worked there for over 40 years. The quality of work that comes from Dundee is in high demand, so much so that their customers specifically ask for the Dundee product when they receive products from America.

GMB Scotland will be holding a mass meeting with members soon and building a movement in Dundee to oppose these savage job losses to a city that is on the brink of going bust.

GMB Scotland consider that Scotland is on the brink of jobs crisis - this week we have had BP, Hawick Knitwear,  these jobs going in Dundee, steel industry job losses plus 30,000 jobs cuts planned as part of Scottish Government cuts in public spending. Where is the strategy from the Scottish Government to stem the steady stream of good well paying jobs being lost?"

End

2 Copy of report on BBC website - 12 January 2016

Jobs at risk at Dundee Flint Group printing factory

More than 100 jobs are at risk at a Dundee printing factory after global printing firm Flint Group said it was considering closing the plant.

The Transfer Media factory produces materials for customers across Europe and employs 117 people.

Flint Group said it was experiencing "significant and worsening" losses because of the decline of the printing industry.

A consultation process will now be held with employees and unions.

The group is planning to consolidate all the work currently carried out at the Dundee site to its two factories in the United States.

David Wood, Flint Group's operations manager in Dundee, said: "We're extremely disappointed to have to make this announcement today, especially since our team in Dundee has worked so hard to improve our cost and delivery performance.

"The structural changes in the marketplace are clearly irreversible and demand for our products is falling fast as digital innovations continue to drive people away from print media."

'Big blow'

Mr Wood said the Dundee factory, on Old Glamis Road, had made an operating loss of more than £1m in 2015.

Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said she hoped to have a meeting with Mr Wood following the announcement.

Ms Robison said: "This would be a big blow with 117 staff potentially at risk, a tragedy for everyone affected, and Dundee can ill-afford to lose manufacturing jobs."

The MSP said she had met Mr Wood in 2012 when the company said it wanted to cut staff at the factory - then known as Day International.

Ms Robison added: "In 2012 Mr Wood told me that if they could reduce capacity then, as the only European company producing these high-quality materials in the European market, he hoped they could maintain their position in the market and protect the remaining 120 jobs in Dundee.

"At the time they envisaged a longer-term presence in the city. Sadly, this no longer seems to be the case."

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