MP Jim McGovern barred from sharing NCR meeting details

NCR development HQ in Dundee.
NCR development HQ in Dundee.

Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has stormed out of a meeting with NCR management after being warned repeating anything he was told could be detrimental to the firm’s future in the city.

The American cash machine manufacturers announced last week it is to cut 70 jobs from its research and development plant in Dundee, which employs around 400 people.

The cuts, the latest in a series that have seen hundreds of staff lose their jobs in recent years, have prompted many to fear that NCR may soon leave Dundee for good.

Mr McGovern visited NCR’s premises in Dundee on Tuesday to discuss the job cuts but left after being told he could not repeat anything he would be told to workers or constituents.

He said: “I asked a couple of questions and I think they answered them reasonably honestly but just kept saying the same thing about the realignment of global resources.”

However, Mr McGovern claims that when he pressed for more information, he was warned repeating anything he would be told could be detrimental to NCR’s long-term future in Dundee.

“Their position is that the workforce should be informed first but my position is constituents have been phoning me with their concerns and I should be able to answer them,” he said.

The MP added that he was disappointed to find no union representatives were invited to the meeting.Comment: NCR should not stand for No Corporate Responsibility“When I walked out, I asked to meet the union representatives but still haven’t been given their contact details,” he said. “However, I have spoken to Ian Ewing, regional officer for Unite, and he completely supported my decision.

“To me it seems ridiculous that with such a large number of people potentially being made redundant that union representation was not present at the meeting to discuss the future of the Dundee workforce.

“After two or three questions put by me to management they made it clear that due to ‘commercial confidentiality’ I could not let the constituents who had contacted me over the weekend know what had been said at the meeting.

“I, therefore, said I could see no purpose in continuing this meeting and left.”

NCR set up in Dundee to make cash registers in 1946 and once employed more than 6,500 people in the city. However, hundreds of jobs have been cut in recent years and in 2009 NCR axed its manufacturing centre in 2009, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick visited the factory on Monday and said he has been told NCR’s future in Dundee is secure.

He said: “In Dundee this will impact on both hardware and software engineering, although I was assured that Dundee remains integral to NCR’s global business.

“I have already spoken with John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, who has assured me that the Scottish Government will work with the company to help those affected and maintain as many jobs in Dundee as possible.”

A spokesman for NCR declined to comment.

“We wouldn’t want to add to what we’ve said before,” said the spokesman.