According to Scottish news sources, Michelin Tyres has asked 800 staff at its Dundee tyre factory to take a three day break. They would like staff to take leave on half-pay during a ten day period in November.
Marilyn Glen, MSP for the region, said, “Michelin is an important employer in Dundee and I can only hope it really is a one-off measure, and that the circumstances for production will improve when the situation is reassessed. My thoughts are with the workers and their families, who must be concerned about their futures, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Michelin has a good reputation as an employer and producer and I’m sure they will weather the economic storm. They have been trying to run down their stocks, so I can understand it”.
Speaking for Michelin, Ian Peart, head of personnel, sought to reassure staff that this is a temporary measure with no long-term implications. He said, “There are no job losses foreseen at this moment in time and, concerning though this is, there’s nothing on the horizon. Like everyone else, we’re watching the economy slip into recession and those markets will come back at some point, but we’ve no idea when that will be. What is clear is that it’s not just a Michelin Dundee problem but one that’s common in the global tyre industry.”
Meanwhile, Union officials were stressing the voluntary nature of the request. “They have a choice to do this or not.” said Unite representative Dave Brady, “Michelin has not – as yet – made the temporary leave compulsory”.