Politicians see movement on FMC position
POLITICIANS are claiming progress in the continuing talks with the owners of Girvan seaweed plant FMC Biopolymer over the number of jobs lost to Norway and the level of redundancy pay for up to 145 workers from the Carrick area.
Girvan Community Council chairman Alec Clark said he had lobbied the Scottish and Westminster government representatives on behalf of the workforce before their meeting with FMC management last Wednesday.
"I was asked to appraise them of the issues by union officials," Mr Clark said.
And SNP MSP Adam Ingram, who had accompanied the Scottish Industry Minister at the talks, told the Carrick Gazette: "Jim Mather put pressure on to convince the company that Scotland was a good place to do business, apart from its academic excellence and a wokforce highly skilled in the marine sciences.
"Now we are supposed to have dialgogue about possibly saving a few more jobs and improving the redundancy package for the rest before the switch to Norway this year."
And Labour MP Sandra Osborne said: "I have repeatedly asked the company if action can be taken that would change their decision to close a big part of the business with the loss of 145 jobs.
"This was raised again at the meeting and Mr (director Ivan] Duke indicated that he could not promise major changes to the current proposal, although he denied my suggestion, which I know is widely shared by the workforce, that the company was bought over only a short time ago with a view to asset stripping.
"This is a tragedy for Girvan and for those who will lose their jobs.
"However, I am pleased to hear that following our meeting and sustained union pressure, a revised redundancy package offer is under discussion. The very least a loyal workforce can expect is to be fairly treated."
Her colleague, Carrick MSP Cathy Jamieson, said: "The decision by FMC Biopolymer to return with an improved redundancy package is certainly a step in the right direction."
"This news is a testament to the hard work of the staff at FMC, and in particular their strong trade union representation. It is very positive that flexibility has been shown on the side of management and that all parties are now in discussions as to how progress can be made in the best interests of the workers and their families."
"It is also important that the management at FMC retain as many jobs as possible and work to ensure a long term future for the plant in Girvan."
She added: "I was deeply saddened and concerned about the consultation on the restructuring and expected job losses at the FMC plant in Girvan. Job losses in Girvan are not just statistics; each job lost is a personal tragedy for every family affected.
"In order to support the hard work of Unite, the union, together with my colleagues at Holyrood, Sandra Osborne MP and local council representatives, meetings have taken place with all parties assocatied with the consultation process..
"This process is by no means over, but the news this week is certainly a welcome development. I will continue to support the staff at FMC in any way possible over the coming weeks and months."
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Weather for Girvan
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
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