CS Wind’s redundancy plan set to go ahead despite talks

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Plans to cut the workforce at CS Wind UK’s Machrihanish factory by up to 80 per cent are scheduled to go ahead despite a meeting on Monday between the company’s management, Scottish and Westminster politicians, local councillors and representatives from Unite the Union.

It was revealed last week that a gap in the company’s order books was the reason it planned to make up to 73 of its 94 employees redundant.

Unite put forward proposals which called on the Scottish Government to bridge the gap in the short-term, but the proposals were rejected.

Unite has expressed concern that the company is using these job losses as a ‘cynical attempt to replace skilled permanent jobs at the site with agency workers’.

Unite’s regional industrial officer, Charlie McDonald, said: ‘The workers at the site feel they are being laid off in an attempt to bring in casual and agency workers on poorer terms and conditions. Unite will fight any attempt to dilute the skill-base at the site with a casual workforce.

‘Another meeting is scheduled for November 22 and even at this late stage Unite remains hopeful that management will reverse this decision. We will continue to press the case for retaining these permanent, high quality, skilled jobs in the community.’

A CS Wind spokesperson told the Courier this week that ‘the consultation process is still ongoing until November 29’ and that ‘all efforts continue to try to resolve the situation in the meantime’.

Councillor John Armour said he was ‘very concerned’ about the potential redundancies, adding: ‘I attended a meeting with staff and then with management on Monday. Staff, rightly, were totally demoralised after the announcement and in my opinion the loyalty and hard work shown by them over the last three years, in meeting and exceeding targets, is not being returned by the company.

‘I worry that if nothing can be done to bring orders forward and keep production going at the factory then loyal and highly-skilled staff will find employment elsewhere and so diminish the local skilled workforce available when new orders are secured.’

Councillor Rory Colville said: ‘While one can understand that wind towers have to be made to order, what is harder to understand is why so many onshore and offshore wind farms are not progressing. In Kintyre alone there are several either with planning permission or awaiting determination with little sign of work progressing.

‘It would be an act of the highest wrongdoing if the powers who control the energy market do not remove the constraints and secure the future of Kintyre’s world-leading technology that is CS Wind.’