Members of the French trade union CGT demonstrated today outside the offices of the Weir Group in Glasgow, Scotland.

CGT members demonstrate outside the offices of the Weir Group in Wellington Street, Glasgow, on 10 March 2015

CGT members demonstrate outside the offices of the Weir Group in Wellington Street, Glasgow, on 10 March 2015

Weir Minerals France, part of Weir Group PLC (a global engineering company) has announced that it intends to close a pump manufacturing factory that employs 50 workers in Castres, near Toulouse, in the south of France. The closure is said to be part of an international plan to cut 500 Weir group jobs in Australia, America, South Africa and France.

The French workers do not plan to go quietly: they have to Glasgow to fight to save their jobs. The workers from the Castres Weir factory want Keith Cochrane, the chief executive of Weir Group to be made aware of the severe impact this closure would have.

Michel Parraud, a fitter and the metal workers’ (CGT) trade union leader at the Castres Weir factory arrived in Glasgow with 30 of the workers from the Castres factory. The Castres Weir factory employs 50 workers and according to workers there, has been making a profit.

Parraud said,

“Our factory has been building industrial slurry pumps for 160 years! We cannot allow Weir to destroy our jobs and our proud industrial history.”

He went on to say, “Before we are willing to stand in the unemployment lines, we think Keith Cochrane deserves to face the consequences of his decisions.”

The protest was joined by local trade union activists from Unison, PCS and the IWW, and firefighters hooted their support as they raced passed on a call out.

After the demonstration, the union members went inside to meet representatives of the company. The Castres workers want their factory to be kept open and sold to another company if necessary to save their jobs.


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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