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GMB Scotland Welcome Falkirk Jobs Intervention

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
GMB Scotland Welcome Intervention By Scottish Government To Save 211 Falkirk Jobs

The minister now fully understands GMB’s position and the workers it represents.

The Scottish Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing attended Carron Phoenix works in Falkirk today (20 April 2016).
He was accompanied by senior representatives of Scottish Enterprise to discuss with local GMB shop stewards and full time officers how best the government can support GMB Scotland’s campaign to protect skilled jobs following recent events. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases about Carron Phoenix)

Gary Cook, GMB Regional Officer, said: “The meeting was open, frank and constructive. The minister now fully understands GMB’s position and the workers it represents and reiterated Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to do absolutely everything possible to retain manufacturing at the site.

The minister also committed to a follow up meeting with the workforce and representatives from GMB in early May.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Regional Officer Gary Cook on 07712 677594 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.

Notes to Editors

1 GMB press release Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GMB Scotland Campaign To Save Carron Phoenix Jobs Gets Underway
‘Positive and welcome’ meeting with First Minister as workers call for government intervention and meaningful industrial strategy.

GMB Scotland members from Carron Phoenix met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Tuesday 19 April) and urged government intervention to help save 211 skilled jobs following Monday’s shock closure announcement. (See notes to editors for GMB press release about Carron Phoenix)

In a welcome discussion, GMB Scotland outlined the company’s profitable performance, fuelled by a full order book and strong exports to European and Chinese markets for their high-quality granite sink products.

Members also highlighted the need for government support to ensure Scottish manufacturing success stories like Carron Phoenix have modern production facilities to help retain employment in the long-term and tackle Scotland’s ongoing manufacturing decline.

Swiss conglomerate owners, Franke Artemis Holdings, told workers on Monday (18th April) that all production would be relocated to Slovakia by the end of 2017, bringing an end to over two centuries of manufacturing at the Falkirk site.

Gary Cook, GMB Regional Officer, said: “Our members welcomed the opportunity to inform the First Minister of the very strong economic, employment and moral case for a government intervention to save hundreds of skilled jobs.

The campaign to save these jobs starts without delay and GMB will do everything to defend the livelihoods of our members but there is no doubt that the wider and ongoing decline of Scottish manufacturing cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged.

We need to do more to protect and sustain our manufacturing successes now because they are the backbone of the Scottish economy, providing the high value jobs and wages that our economy cannot do without.

The First Minister agrees with us that manufacturing should be a growth sector, not a sector in serious decline, but we are clear that a meaningful industrial strategy is required to achieve this.
We hope today’s positive dialogue will not only help save Carron Phoenix but also start a process to deliver that industrial strategy because it is desperately needed.”


2 GMB press release dated Monday, April 18, 2016

Historic Manufacturer Carron Phoenix Announces Imminent Closure With The Loss Of 211 Skilled Jobs

Devastated workers told production will be moved from Falkirk to Slovakia by the end of 2017.

GMB Scotland has called for urgent Scottish government intervention to save over two centuries of skilled manufacturing at Carron Phoenix in Falkirk, after the firm’s owners confirmed today (Monday 18 April) that full production will be relocated to Slovakia by the end of 2017.

Owned by Swiss conglomerate Franke Artemis Holdings, the firm manufactures granite sinks but is historically famed for making the cannons used by Wellington at Waterloo, the Royal Mail’s famous red postboxes and the iron casings which line the Clyde tunnel.

Despite a full order book exporting mainly to the European and Far East markets, devastated workers were told this afternoon production in Falkirk will be transferred to a new manufacturing facility in Slovakia.

Gary Cook, GMB Scotland Officer, said: “This is another hammer blow to the Scottish economy and the workers are absolutely devastated.

Once again Scottish workers are left pleading for a government intervention to try and save their livelihoods and skills - a depressingly familiar scenario that cannot continue unchallenged.

At the STUC Conference in Dundee this afternoon our trade unions are making the case to politicians currently on the campaign trail that we desperately need a meaningful industrial strategy to buck this manufacturing decline.

Yet at the same moment, over two hundred skilled jobs are being thrown on the unemployment scrap-heap as the manufacturing casualties continue to mount.

GMB Scotland will campaign to fight this closure but if this latest blow cannot focus the minds of our politicians on the crisis in manufacturing then I don’t know what will.”


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