Mass sacking firm in talks: Timex executives visit besieged plant

TWO senior executives from Timex's world headquarters in Connecticut spent most of yesterday at the company's Dundee plant. The Scottish factory has been under a virtual siege from trade union protesters for nine weeks after the sacking of 343 staff and the bussing in of non-union 'replacement' workers.

John Dryfe, Timex's corporate vice-president, and Mohammed Saleh, the human resources vice-president, travelled to Dundee after a private meeting in London on Wednesday with the Lord Provost of Dundee, the convenor of Tayside Regional Council, and Ernie Ross, Labour MP for Dundee West. Peter Hall, Timex's Dundee boss, also attended the meeting.

Although Timex's owner, the Norwegian businessman Fred Olsen, had given the meeting - in a London hotel - his approval, he did not attend.

The reluctance of those involved in the meeting to divulge what was said or agreed, and the subsequent journey to Dundee of the two American vice-presidents - said to be to check on the ability of the alternative workforce to continue adequate production levels - has given trade union leaders some hope.

American executives are believed to have given the initial go-ahead for Mr Hall to adopt hardline tactics, in line with the company's US policy, nine weeks ago when the mass sackings took place.

Their immediate return to Dundee after the London meeting may indicate a wish to revise such tactics. However, Timex in Connecticut and Dundee would make no comment on the outcome of the meeting.

Convenors from the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union in Dundee said they were continuing with plans for the third mass rally at the factory gates on Monday.

Two weeks ago, 16 people were arrested as demonstrators attempted to halt buses taking replacement workers to the plant.

After the demonstration, exclusion notices ordered by a Scottish court were served on some members of Scottish Militant Labour, prohibiting them from demonstrating outside the factory.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss