Scotland: Michelin plans closure of Dundee plant with loss of 845 jobs
Rank-and file organisations needed to organise fight-back
17 November 2018
French-based transnational Michelin’s decision to close its tyre manufacturing plant in Dundee, Scotland by 2020 threatens to pitch the plant’s 845 workers, their families and thousands more in the area into unemployment and poverty.
The conglomerate is acting aggressively to defend its profit margins, dividends to wealthy shareholders, and the immense salaries paid to its top management by dispensing with its Dundee workforce. Michelin’s statement on the closure made clear the attack on its Dundee workers arose from world conditions.
Michelin blamed the decision on reduced demand for 16-inch and smaller car tyres in the face of “low cost, entry-level products from Asia.” Despite recent investment, the company claimed the plant was “unsuitable and its conversion is not financially viable.” A “consultation process with employees, employee representatives and the trade union” is to start within two weeks.
Michelin, which operates 70 plants in 17 countries and employs around 114,000 workers worldwide, holds around 14 percent of the entire world market in car and truck tyres. In 2017, the company’s net sales globally amounted to €21.9 billion, of which around €4.01 billion was profit before tax and one-off costs.
Days before the announcement, Michelin suffered a 9 percent fall in its share price in Paris, warning of collapsing demand and price increases due to currency fluctuations. The Financial Times reported car industry analyst Arndt Ellinghorst of Evercore ISI warning of the “ugliest reporting season” for car industry suppliers since 2015. Ellinghorst said that 80 percent of…