Union urging bosses not to make any compulsory redundancies at Hawick cashmere mill

Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick.Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick.
Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick.
Union officials are calling on bosses at Johnstons of Elgin not to make any compulsory redundancies at its Hawick and Moray mills.

The textile firm announced plans for up to 23 redundancies in Hawick and a further 108 company-wide on Monday, but Unite Scotland is now urging it to rethink that move to preserve as many jobs as possible.

Graeme Turnbull, a regional officer for the union, said: “The announcement by Johnstons of Elgin is a bitter blow for the workers at the firm’s Elgin and Hawick sites.

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“There is now an ongoing redundancy consultation involving the workforce which is scheduled to conclude in October.

“While at this stage there are no compulsory redundancies, Unite’s efforts will be completely fixed on ensuring that no worker will be forced to leave their role if they wish to stay at the firm.

“We understand the pressures on business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we ask that Johnstons of Elgin work with us to ensure that we save as many jobs as possible and we stave off in all circumstances any future announcements.”

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont has also pledged his support to workers facing the dole, saying: “Hawick and the Borders have a proud history of producing world-class textiles, so this is clearly a blow to the local textiles industry and the wider local economy.

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“I have spoken with the management at Johnstons and they have told me that compulsory redundancies will be kept to a minimum. However, I know that many families in Hawick and the surrounding area will be very anxious at this news.

“As always, employees who have lost their job or have concerns can get in touch with me and I will do my best to help.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge problems for our economy. I am afraid that many tough decisions remain ahead.

“Rural areas like ours will need all the help we can get to ensure businesses can rebuild for the future.”

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Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton added: “The news emerging from Johnstons of Elgin is worrying for jobs in Hawick.

“The Borders economy is already struggling with the impact of the recession brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need an economic stimulus package from the Scottish Government to prevent further job losses and encourage growth during these difficult times.

“I want to offer support to all of those affected by the redundancies at the Hawick mill.

“If you wish to seek advice or support, I am here to help, so please email me at [email protected]

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