STV, the Scottish arm of ITV, reported on Friday that Glass Systems were to purchase Pilkington AG, based in North Lanarkshire by the end of the month.

According to the reports, staff had only just found out, via “process of elimination” and not via any official briefings or statements. The STV article reported that Glass Systems had bought a site in Barnsley and are suspected of wanting to move the 92 Scottish jobs there.

Here are some of the main snippets from that story:

Benny Rankin, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “We have now found out that Pilkington are planning to sell the Cumbernauld site.

“Unfortunately we, along with the workforce, were forced to find out through a process of elimination rather than through the proper briefing that we would have expected.

“We obviously have real concerns about the intentions of Glass Systems.”

He added: “Scottish manufacturing jobs have taken a hammering over many decades now and we fear this sale makes another plant vulnerable.

“We are demanding urgent talks with Glass Systems and we will be making sure our members’ rights are fully respected by the incoming company.

The story finished:

Matt Buckley, managing director of UK&I Architectural at Pilkington, said all jobs would be kept under the move.

He added: “Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has accepted an offer to sell its AG (Barnsley) and Cumbernauld businesses to the Glass Systems Group. The sale also includes the Pilkington Cervoglass roof unit business.

“242 Pilkington employees across the two sites will be directly affected by this sale. As part of the agreement, the employment of all 242 will be transferred via TUPE to Glass Systems North on 31 March 2017.

“We have worked closely with Glass Systems during this process to ensure all jobs will be retained.”

Read the full STV story here

DGB Business

A sale to save money?

This deal is just a small part of a wave of consolidation in the UK fenestration market. There are deals going on in all parts of our market, as we re-size according to the demands of today. It means it certainly won’t be the last deal done.

But perhaps this is also a sign from parent company NSG that it trying to save money. Ever since they bought Pilkington a few years ago they have lost money hand over fist. A quick look at their accounts does not make for happy reading. NSG have a big task on their hands to turn the slide around. Maybe this is part of that plan? Question is, how much would they need to sell, and how much of Pilks would remain?

As for the jobs, it’s difficult when you’re working for the company being taken over to believe assurances given by the top brass at both parties that jobs are safe. So many times these kinds of promises are made and then collapse soon after. If there is indeed a plan to shut the site and move the jobs then perhaps it would be best to be honest about that. But for now, Pilks have given assurances, and that is what those working in Cumbernauld will have to work with.

As for NSG, we wonder as to what else they may sell off to arrest the yearly losses. How much more of Pilks might they sell in the future to competitors to get the books back in the black. What shape and form will Pilks take in the future? As more and more acquisitions happen this year, the lay of the land is going to continue to shift dramatically.

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