Levi’s closure report strengthen’s union negotiating position

The
GMB union is to use an independent report into the closure of two Levi Strauss
factories in Scotland to petition for better redundancy packages.

Last
month the company allowed Professor Robert van de Meer of Strathclyde
University’s Business School to examine the possible closure. As a result, more
than 600 people will lose their jobs.

But
GMB Scotland senior organiser, Ian King, said the report makes it clear that
current exchange rates were the deciding factor in the company’s decision – not
poor workforce performance.

"The
performance levels in productivity have increased by a substantial measure both
in Dundee and at Bellshill over the past three years," said King.

Having
read the report in he could see no alternative to closure. However, he added
that the report strengthens the union’s bargaining power with regard to
redundancy packages: “I believe the commissioning of the report was essential,
and it’s my view that it will greatly enhance our negotiating position,” he
said.

“Although
it has always been made clear to the employees that the final decision to
accept closure would be theirs, I have now asked them to accept it as
inevitable."

Meetings
between GMB Scotland and Levi Strauss are planned for this week.

Professor
van de Meer said Levi Strauss’ production costs were far lower in Poland and
Spain, mainly due to exchange rates.

By Quentin Reade

Comments are closed.