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‘Devastating’ blow to Dundee as Michelin plans to close Dundee factory ‘by 2020’

The Michelin site in Dundee.
The Michelin site in Dundee.

Michelin plans to close its factory in Dundee by 2020.

The news, first revealed by The Courier, has now been confirmed by the French firm.

Some 850 people work at the plant in Baldovie Road and a number have been summoned to a meeting on Tuesday morning.

The Michelin factory at Baldovie.

The planned closure is a devastating blow for the city, with Michelin one of the biggest private employers in Dundee.

A source told The Courier: “Both governments have been alerted. There are 850 workers at the Dundee factory and the plan is to close it in or by 2020.”

A statement released on the Michelin website on Monday, quickly removed, claims the plant on Baldovie Road is “unsuitable and its conversion is not financially viable”.

Politicians have been reacting to the news.

Richard Leonard, the Scottish Labour leader, said: “This is devastating news for the Michelin workforce and their families, the city of Dundee and the wider Tayside community. My thoughts are with them.

“The Michelin factory in Dundee has provided not just hundreds of well paid jobs, but much needed skills and training to a city which has suffered greatly as a result of de-industrialisation.”

UPDATE: Michelin confirms plans to close Dundee tyre factory, with loss of 850 jobs

Bill Bowman, the Scottish Conservative MSP, said it will come as a “hammer blow to hundreds of employees and their families”.

“There will also be a much wider effect among thousands of people across Tayside and Fife.

“I support immediate action to engage the workforce and find them work.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This is a huge blow for Dundee. The Scottish Government must liaise with unions and the firm to work out whether anything can be done.

“We need a government exploring every option to ensure that vital experience is not lost.”

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Unite union Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Unite has been aware of the challenging market situation facing the Michelin Group.

“This has been primarily due to the cheap foreign imports from Asia and as a result falling demand for premium tyres in smaller dimensions, which the Dundee factory specialises in producing.

“If the media reports are confirmed by Michelin, this will be hammer blow for Dundee.

“It would be devastating and a betrayal of the workforce who have made major changes to working practices at the site in order to secure its long-term future.

“The workforce can be assured Unite will fight tooth and nail to save our factory. We will leave no stone unturned to keep this factory open.

“Unite will work day and night to ensure that all options remain on the table.”

The tyre manufacturer warned in September that jobs could be lost at the plant amid “extremely challenging trading conditions”.

For full coverage and reaction, see Tuesday’s Courier

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