Michelin Dundee Management Discusses 2008 Production Levels - Tire Review Magazine

Michelin Dundee Management Discusses 2008 Production Levels

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Staff at Michelin’s Dundee tyre production plant are reportedly concerned about the outcome of management negotiations over future production levels at the factory.

The Baldovie factory currently produces 6.5 million tyres a year and is scheduled to do so again in 2007.

Production levels for 2008, however, are still being decided, with talks currently being held between officials at the Dundee plant and in Clermont-Ferrand, the Dundee Evening Telegraph added.

According to reports, there has been an increased reliance on automated technology at the factory. Factory general manager Trevor Haines told the Evening Telegraph shop floor workers were being kept up to speed with developments. However, due to the close relationship between production and the number of employees necesary, any cuts in production or increased use of automation could potentially result in job losses.

Haines said there could be a conclusion to the discussions in the next few weeks: “Before we take any decisions in terms of our organisation, we need to have a view of our production levels beyond 2007. When we have got that, we will communicate that at the earliest opportunity. I understand concern is being raised – it has been raised with me. I am keeping a completely open mind, as are the vast majority of people on site.

“In everything like this, the first and foremost concern of everybody is their long-term prospects. Our objective is always to take decision to secure the long-term future of the factory, and that is what we will continue to do.”

The news of production discussions at Michelin’s Dundee’s plant follows a fine being imposed on the company after an accident at its Stoke-on-Trent facility. Michelin was fined £100,000 (146,000 euros) after a worker suffered serious hand injuries in an industrial accident. The company admitted breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 during a hearing before Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

The court was told that the employee lost the top of three fingers in a factory accident as he tried to remove a blockage from a tyre de-treading machine. Evidence was given that the machine had been altered in order to make it run faster, but that as a result it had become hazardous. Prosecutor Adam Farrar reportedly said: "It was a case of putting productivity and, therefore, profit before safety.”

In mitigation, it was said that the incident had been an isolated one and that safety at the plant, which was normally excellent, had now been upgraded further, Rubber and Plastics News reported.

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