HUNDREDS of workers at the McVitie’s factory in Tollcross are still reeling from the news that their jobs are under threat after the owner of the site announced their intention to close the facility.

This is a hammer blow for the East End communities I represent, for whom the McVitie’s factory is an institution.

The factory not only produces fine products but even more importantly it has been an invaluable source of local employment opportunities in area that is all too often neglected by those in charge.

In 2018 when trade union representatives raised the threat of a possible closure, councillors and other elected representatives including myself were assured by the company that they had no plans to close the site.

It is shameful now to discover that employees are now threatened with redundancy again after working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to maintain production.

After communicating with McVitie’s directly it was pleasing to work together with Shettleston’s Labour and SNP councillors on a cross-party motion which was passed unanimously by Glasgow City Council on Thursday.

The motion referred to the work already underway between the council, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise through the creation of a taskforce designed to explore all options to secure these jobs and save the factory going forward.

The motion also further directs the leader of the Council and the Council’s Chief Executive to continue their work in this regard and I would have to thank officials and the administration for the speed with which they have sought to grapple with this devastating news.

The truth is I don’t care about what party rosette you wear when it comes to working together to save jobs and preserve people’s livelihoods in our city.

For a company with such a proud and iconic history in the city to be proposing not to have any manufacturing capacity in Scotland is truly outrageous.

I know that delivering this news out of the blue to employees at McVitie’s – many of whom worked their for decades isn’t the legacy they want for their brand in Scotland.

With almost 500 jobs on the line, this is categorically not the start Glasgow needed or deserved as we look towards our economic recovery, albeit more slowly with the continuation of Level 3 restrictions.

I’m ready and eager to work with any Government, any politician, any trade union or business organisation to help save this factory and the jobs that are at risk.

McVitie’s have since come out claimed this is the beginning of a consultation process.

If this consultation is to be genuine and meaningful then there must be assurances that there is a chance to save this site.

We must ensure no stone is left unturned in pursuit of saving hundreds of jobs.

The people of Tollcross deserve no less.