Angry Tullis Russell workers demand answers from management

Tullis Russell
Tullis Russell

Around 300 former Tullis Russell employees, who were made redundant on Monday following the firm’s shock announcement it was going into administration, have voiced their anger at management.

Attending an emergency union meeting at Rothes Halls yesterday, emotions were running high as a succession of workers demanded answers from the management team responsible for firm which has lost £18.5 million in the last five years.

“Let’s be clear that Tullis Russell directors have serious questions to answer”

Dougie Maguire, Unite Union regional officer

Employees, some of which were informed of the job losses by telephone following a completion of their shift are claiming the decision was made without any consultation from directors who said only last month that jobs were ‘safeguarded’.

Unite regional officer Dougie Maguire said: “Let’s be clear that Tullis Russell directors have serious questions to answer about how this company was so suddenly plunged into administration and the workers want answers.

“This is a heart-breaking situation where the workforce have turned out in their hundreds, shocked and victims of a hopeless employment law system and a group of directors who didn’t give a second thought to throwing them on the dole.”

The meeting was arranged to give the workforce Unite regional officer Dougie Maguire said: “Let’s be clear that Tullis Russell directors have serious questions to answer about how this company was so suddenly plunged into administration and the workers want answers.

“This is a heart-breaking situation where the workforce have turned out in their hundreds, shocked and victims of a hopeless employment law system and a group of directors who didn’t give a second thought to throwing them on the dole.

The union organised the meeting to offer legal advice to its members.

“Our immediate priority now is our involvement on the Scottish government task force and if there is any possibility that we can save these jobs - we will explore every option,” added Mr McGuire.

The first meeting of the Fife taskforce, set up by the Scottish Government in the wake of the 325 job losses, also took place yesterday co-chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and David Ross, leader of Fife Council.

Speaking after the meeting at St Margaret’s Church Hall in Glenrothes Mr Swinney said: “We are committed to working together with key public and private bodies, workforce representatives and local politicians to do all we can to support those who have been made redundant and are affected by the decision during this difficult time.”

An initial list of priorities were agreed including the continued effort to find a possible buyer for the 206-year-old paper making company.

Support for those made redundant and the agreement of action plan to support economic growth and job creation in central Fife, was also earmarked.

“The Scottish Government has already announced an initial £6 million of financial support, other members of the Taskforce will look to see what resources they can bring to support work in the area,” added Mr Swinney.