Scotland business

Jobs threatened at Dundee-based Michelin factory

Michelin Dundee
Image caption About 850 workers are employed at Michelin's Dundee factory

Tyre manufacturer Michelin has warned that jobs could be lost at its Dundee plant in the face of "extremely challenging trading conditions".

Michelin has forecast that output will fall from 6.2 million tyres in 2017 to a maximum of 5.4 million per year over the next three years.

The company blamed an influx of cheap tyres from Asia and falling demand for smaller premium tyres.

Michelin Dundee currently employs about 850 people.

In a statement, the company said: "We are working with employees, unions and the Michelin Group to meet these market challenges.

"We will explore all options to maximise the efficiency of the plant, and those options could include restructuring working patterns and reducing headcount.

"Michelin Dundee continues to appreciate the hard work and flexibility of its employees, and we will update them before the end of the year."

The union Unite said it had been working closely with European trade union partners and Michelin on the issue of cheap imports into Europe from Asia.

Marc Jackson, senior shop steward for Unite at Michelin Dundee, said: "Unite the Union has been aware over the last few months of the challenging market situation in close dialogue with our European partners.

"The reduction in production will impact the Dundee site more than any other site within the Michelin group, as we manufacture smaller tyre dimensions.

"Unite have always worked together with Michelin through difficult periods and we will continue to do so.

"We understand this is one of the most challenging periods we have faced as one of the main reasons for the announcement is an influx of cheap imports from Asia.

"At this moment in time our members can be assured that we will be looking to protect their terms and conditions and to maximise jobs on site."

In late 2015, Michelin announced it was investing more than £50m at its factory in Dundee.

The company said then that new machinery to make larger tyres would see production increase by nearly a third.

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