Scottish Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler are engaging with their Dutch and Slovakian colleagues as part of a joint bid to save the Scottish plant as well as one in the Netherlands.
Carron Phoenix, owned by the Franke Group, is to close its Falkirk sink-making plant by December 2017 to move operations to Slovakia to cut costs. The move has already sparked widespread anger about the loss of Scottish manufacturing jobs with yet further outrage coming as a result of temporary workers being brought in to meet the high levels of current demand.
In a joint statement, the Scottish MEPs said:
“We are working with the GMB in an effort to ensure these skilled manufacturing jobs stay in Scotland. As well as writing to the Franke Group, we are engaged in dialogue with Dutch and Slovakian colleagues to see what can be done in the way of joint campaigning.
“We are also keen to ensure all avenues of consultation and information with the trade unions at national and EU level are used to avoid job losses, and for a full and independent study to be made of the grounds for the closures announced in Falkirk and the Netherlands, as is common practice in so many EU countries before restructuring. Staff being taken on in Falkirk to cope with growing orders does not sound like an unsustainable plant to us.
“We would urge Carron Phoenix/Franke management not to throw the baby out with the “sink” water, and risk losing decades of highly experienced craftsmanship in this sector in Falkirk.
“It is seldom wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Falkirk has proved itself to be a good productive factory, and deserves to be considered as a valuable asset going forward for Franke, helping to ensure quality production alongside other plants coming on stream, not sacrificed for short-term gain.
“Scotland has a long and proud history of manufacturing successes and jobs such as those at Carron Phoenix are the backbone of our economy. We will continue to work with colleagues and unions to fight to keep these jobs here in Scotland.”