Threat to jobs remains in Leven as talks continue at Pfaudler-Balfour

Pfaulder Balfour. Pic by Robbins Myers.
Pfaulder Balfour. Pic by Robbins Myers.

The threat of job losses still looms at one of Leven’s longest established manufacturing plants as discussions continue with unions.

Talk of redundancies at Pfaudler-Balfour were first highlighted at the end of January, and now, as a 30-day period of consultation is extended, one of the UK’s biggest unions claims up t0 60 per cent of the workforce could be affected by changes to its manufacturing processes.

Alan Ritchie, GMB Scotland union organiser, confirmed he was involved in meetings at Pfaudler-Balfour for most of the day last Friday, April 1, discussing the company’s proposals.

He told the Mail that they are intending to pay off 60 per cent of the labour force, equating to around 77 people.

“What we are doing is coming up with an alternative plan to put to the company and working closely with the workers at Leven and aiming to bring alternative proposals forward,” he said.

“We are hoping that, over the next couple of weeks, we will be able to do that and challenge these recent proposals.”

The company’s plans threatened a 200-year history of manufacture at Leven, he said.

“They are talking about mothballing large parts of the plant, and that is indeed a worry. The trade union side believes it’s going to be very, very hard to sustain future work in Leven and that it could be ‘death by 1000 cuts’ .”

Friday’s meetings were an extension of the 30-day consultation period which began on Tuesday (March 29) and they hoped to be in talks for the next few weeks.

Mr Ritchie also confirmed Pfaudler-Balfour had indeed been in talks recently with the German trade union IG Metal – something which was denied by bosses at Pfaudler -Balfour back in February.

The GMB Scotland union also felt it should have been brought into these talks much sooner, said Mr Ritchie.

The Mail contacted Mark Goldsmith, general manager at the Leven plant, for a response to the proposals, but the company refused to comment.