Carron Phoenix Campaign Gathers Support
Once again we are witnessing working class people in Scotland being thrown on to the scrap heap by ruthless employer who clearly put profit before people says GMB Scotland.
The campaign to keep Carron Phoenix, Scotland's oldest manufacturing company, open gathered pace today following a meeting with GMB Scotland representatives and Falkirk council leaders. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases about Carron Phoenix).
The council told trade union representatives that it is fully committed to working with unions and mirrored the sentiments of the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who promised everything that could be done would be done to retain the manufacturing plant at Falkirk. Carron Phoenix exports its products, such as Franke granite sinks, predominately to Europe but almost 30% goes to America and it even exports to China.
The trade unions will be meeting again shortly after the Scottish elections on a single table with the business secretary, senior representatives of Scottish enterprise and Falkirk council leaders to reassess what exactly is needed by Carron Phoenix to keep its operation in Falkirk.
Gary Cook, GMB Regional Officer, said: "The meeting with the council was very productive and up-beat. The council are clearly on the same page as GMB in terms of their commitment to try to save these high value manufacturing jobs in Scotland.
Contrary to what some people may think this is a company that are producing a high end product at a premium price that customers are prepared to pay for. Its order book is full and the company is even employing temporary workers to keep up with demand. This is a profitable business and not an antiquated sunset manufacturer.
Carron Phoenix is very much on the up and the decision by the parent company, Franke, to move its operation to Slovakia is motivated solely by its greed for ever increasing profits. Once again we are witnessing working class people in Scotland being thrown on to the scrap heap by a ruthless employer who is clearly putting profit before people. This is a plant’s pedigree is second to none with a flexible hard working workforce and together we are embarking on this difficult campaign to fight for and retain the Carron Phoenix plant - it's just too valuable and important to give up on."
Contact: GMB Scotland Regional Officer Gary Cook on 07712 677594 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors
GMB press release dated 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.”
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.”