Fears played down as Pilkington sold

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The union GMB has said 92 workers at Pilkington Glass in Cumbernauld could lose their jobs, after bosses decided to sell the factory to a rival firm.

Union officials are urgently seeking assurances that local jobs are safe, but reportedly fear redundancies if a rumoured move of the firm’s operations to England goes ahead.

Matt Buckley, Managing Director – UK&I Architectural at Pilkington United Kingdom Ltd: “Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has accepted an offer to sell its AG (Barnsley) and Cumbernauld businesses to the Glass Systems Group. The sale also includes the Pilkington Cervoglass™ roof unit business.

He added: “242 Pilkington employees across the two sites will be directly affected by this sale. As part of the agreement, the employment of all 242 will be transferred via TUPE to Glass Systems North on 31 March 2017.

“All parties were briefed on Friday.

“We have worked closely with Glass Systems during this process to ensure all jobs will be retained. There are no plans to move any jobs away from the Cumbernauld site, or indeed the Barnsley site.”

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “We have now found out that Pilkington are planning to sell the Cumbernauld site.

“Unfortunately we, along with the workforce, were forced to find out through a process of elimination rather than through the proper briefing that we would have expected.

“We obviously have real concerns about the intentions of Glass Systems.”

He added: “Scottish manufacturing jobs have taken a hammering over many decades now and we fear this sale makes another plant vulnerable.

“We are demanding urgent talks with Glass Systems and we will be making sure our members’ rights are fully respected by the incoming company.

“GMB Scotland has also written to the Scottish Government alerting them to the sale and asking them to seek assurances from Glass Systems over the future of the Cumbernauld plant.”

The Japanese – based Nippon Sheet Glass Company became one of the four biggest glass companies in the world in 2006 when Pilikington became a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Pilkington was founded in 1826 by the Pilkington and Greenall families of Lancashire. In the 1950s it developed its revolutionary Float Glass production technique which lowered costs.