Sweet and sour

January 17th, 2011

It was a week of sweet and sour for the local economy.

First we had the devastating news that Blair’s of Greenock had called in the receivers and made more than 100 of their loyal staff redundant.

This is a company who has operated with considerable success in our community for over a century, proving good quality manufacturing jobs for the area.

I know how much the workforce has sacrificed to keep the business running so it was with great sadness when I got the call telling me of their difficulties.

I have tried to do my bit, meeting with management, speaking to the administrators, putting pressure on the banks and even raising the issue with the First Minister, in the hope that we can salvage something from this difficult situation.

While we faced a job threat on that front, there was the welcome news that Amazon is to double its workforce at its site in Gourock.

Since Amazon relocated to Inverclyde, they have had their ups and downs, particularly with some questionable employment practices at peak times.

But the fact that a major international player has re-affirmed its commitment to Inverclyde and created 200 jobs is a boost to the area, particularly in this difficult economic climate.

It’s a reminder that creating and safeguarding jobs have to be the number one political priority at this time.

This community can well appreciate that unemployment isn’t a price worth paying during a time of recession.

Our community still bears the scars from the last one and we can’t let that happen this time around.