Biscuit factory workers were urged to increase production during lockdown only to be told their jobs were being axed when it ended.
Around 200 staff, many of whom have worked at the McVitie’s plant in Tollcross, Glasgow, for decades, and their supporters staged a demo at the site yesterday against plans to close the factory which has operated in the area for nearly a century.
Christine Quinn, 62, a production operator, said: “I have worked here for 46 years and, along with my colleagues, we have given so much service to this company. People deserve better and we will fight on for our jobs.”
Process operator Kirsteen Paterson, 47, who has 22 years’ service, said: “The company has treated workers with contempt. We were told a year ago that we needed to put in the work because of what was going on. We worked all through lockdown, so to be told at the end of it that we are just being closed down is not acceptable.”
McVitie’s owner Pladis, part of a Turkish conglomerate, said the Tollcross plant, which employs 470 staff and supports another 200 jobs, would close next year with production moved to other UK sites. Unions have called for action by the UK and Scottish governments to save the factory, which makes products including Digestives, Hobnobs and Penguin biscuits.
GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith said: “This is a factory which achieved record levels of productivity and profitability during the pandemic. Workers have continued to give their all despite covid outbreaks and, at the end of it, their employer stabs them in the back.”
Glasgow East SNP MP David Linden said: “During the pandemic, workers here were told they must work to feed the country and for McVitie’s now to say their jobs are going is simply unacceptable.”
A Pladis spokesman said: “We understand the news has been difficult. Our priority is to provide staff with support while we carry out a full and meaningful consultation process.”
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