Working class of Glasgow fights to save jobs at McVitie’s factory

On May 11, the Pladis group announced the closure of a biscuit factory of its subsidiary McVitie’s at Tollcross, Glasgow, putting at risk around 500 jobs

May 25, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Workers Protest-Glasgow
Mobilization at Tollcross Park, Glasgow. (Photo: via GMB Scotland)

On May 22, Saturday, workers demonstrated in the Tollcross area of Glasgow, UK, demanding that jobs which are at stake due to the impending closure of a local biscuit factory be saved. Trade unions, including the GMB, called for the protest against the closure of the McVitie’s factory announced by its owner, the Pladis group, on May 11. Several trade unions, politicians and development agency officials, among others, have decided to form an action group to tackle the situation faced by almost 500 workers at the McVitie’s factory. Representatives from the Scottish Labour Party and the Scottish National Party also participated in the protest on Saturday. 

Workers from McVitie’s Tollcross have initiated a petition demanding that their jobs be saved. The petition states that the workforce at McVitie’s have been functioning as key workers throughout the pandemic. Their aim is to fight for alternative ways to keep the factory viable rather than its closure. As of May 23, more than 45,000 people had endorsed the petition.

Regarding the mobilization on Saturday, GMB said, “McVitie’s has been in the east end of Glasgow for nearly a century. Generations of locals have produced for the people, through ups and downs, austerity and prosperity, war and pandemic. Last week its parent company Pladis, announced Tollcross is to close next year.”

“This is the story of a company that has thrived during the COVID-19 crisis, generating revenues of over 2 billion pounds, thanks in no small part to the efforts of a workforce who are now being rewarded with the closure of their plant. For Pladis it’s back to ‘business as usual’ and that can’t be left unchallenged.” the union added.

GMB also welcomed the establishment of an action group to secure fresh investment for sustaining jobs and production in the east end of Glasgow. The Unite union expressed its solidarity with the workers of the McVitie’s factory. Activists from the Glasgow branch of the Young Communist League (YCL-Scotland) also participated in the protest on Saturday and extended their support to the workers.