Scotland: sacked workers occupy, blockade factories

Simclar workers with Amicus rep in 2005
Simclar workers with Amicus rep in 2005

Laid-off workers have occupied then blockaded their closed factories in order to prevent asset-stripping by the company, Simclar, and secure improved redundancy terms.

Submitted by Joseph Kay on February 5, 2007

On Friday night (2nd Feb) around 60 workers, members of the trade union community who were protesting outside the Kilwinning site, stormed and occupied the factory. 20 stayed overnight, demanding improved redundancy terms after Monday's announcement that the Kilwinning and Irvine sites were to close with the loss of 420 jobs. The company is only offering the statutory minimum redundancy terms.

Around 100 sacked workers as well as supporters and politicians were also protesting outside the Irvine site - where the bulk of the plant machinery is being held - and which is now subject to a blockade to prevent the employers asset-stripping whilst pleading poverty to redundancy demands.

At around 4am this morning (5th Feb) police helped temporarily break the Irvine blockade of around 20 workers to allow 3 lorries to leave the site. The suspicion is the stripped assets will be taken to Simclar's non-unionised Dunfirmline plant, which sacked workers now plan to visit in order to let the workers there know what has been happening in Irvine and Kilwinning.

Workers are asking for donations to help with the dispute as they have no income. Donations and letters of support should be sent to:

Branch Secretary Robert Ferguson, 64 Shore Road, Stevenston, North Ayrshire, KA20 3LP

Cheques should be made payable to: North Ayrshire Community Branch Justice Fund.

Pictured above are Simclar workers who were sacked in 2005 following another plant closure.