Union says ‘real fight starts now’ for 180 jobs at Barrie cashmere mill, following financial collapse of Dawson International


The GMB says there is a ‘real fight’ to try to secure the future of a leading cashmere knitwear mill in the Scottish Borders after its parent company was forced into administration.

180 people work at Barrie Knitwear in Hawick, which produces clothing for designer label names such as Hermes and Chanel (pictured).

Dawson International announced earlier this week that it called in administrators KPMG after it failed to reach agreement with the pension regulator over a £129m hole in its pension fund.

The decision has a direct effect on the Barrie workforce.

In the last financial year, Barrie turned over £9.7m and generated a pre-tax profit of £1.1m.

Around 90% of its revenue came from exports.

Alex McLuckie, senior organiser for GMB Scotland, said: “The failure of Dawson International to get an agreement on the pension scheme meant that administration was always a threat.

“The decision to into administration has now been taken so the real fight to save the 180 jobs at Barrie Knitwear starts now.

“If ever a group of workers deserved a future it is members working for Barrie and GMB will do everything we can to ensure these jobs are saved not just for today but for years to come.”

The Barrie mill in Hawick has been described as “the jewel in the wreckage of Dawson”.

Blair Nimmo from administrators KPMG, said: “Administration represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a well known and profitable Scottish cashmere knitwear business with over 100 years of trading history.”

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