East Kilbride workers “Betrayed” by Scottish Independence Referendum Better Together Campaign Broken Promises

Alba Party have hit out at a betrayal of workers in East Kilbride who were promised job security only if they voted No to Scottish independence back in 2014.

Alba Party General Secretary Chris McEleny has hit out at a “London decision with no understanding of the impact on Scottish communities” after it was announced 1000 civil service jobs would be relocated from East Kilbride.

McEleny was responding to news that David Cameron’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is to leave its East Kilbride base – despite officials claiming to have been working on plans for a new office in the area.

It comes just two years after the department said it would have 1500 workers there by 2025.

The Abercrombie House office, which is now home to 1000 staff, was previously the home of the Department for International Development prior to its integration into the Foreign Office.

The former Overseas Development Administration and Department for International Development (DFID) has been based at Abercrombie House in Hairmyres since the early 1980s.

Today, with no prior consultation, 1000 staff were told they are to be relocated to Glasgow with HMRC becoming the new tenants of Abercrombie House.

Alba Party have hit out at the move which they say is a hammer blow to the local economy that has had no consultation about the impact it will have on the surrounding community.

The Party’s General Secretary has hit out at the announcement - which he says breaks a promise given to workers back in 2014 when “pressuring” them to vote No to independence.

Commenting Alba Party’s Chris McEleny said;

“This is the latest in a long line of broken promises by the Better Together Campaign that pressured workers into voting No in 2014 as part of a fear campaign that their area would lose jobs. Scotland voted No and now the jobs are going and will leave behind a massive black hole in the local economy.

“It’s ironic that this decision has been made by David Cameron who was the Prime Minister that signed the Vow alongside his Labour and Lib Dem Better Together partners.

“Any promises that these jobs will simply be relocated but will not be subject to redundancy should be taken with a pinch of salt. Moving 1000 jobs from a town to a city is completely against the Government’s levelling up agenda.”

In 2014 Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening warned that a vote for independence would threaten jobs in East Kilbride.

She spoke at a Better Together event at Calderglen High School alongside then MP Michael McCann.

Speaking at a Better Together Campaign event to urge the people of East Kilbride to vote No to independence in 2014, Ms Greening said:

“Scotland has a huge development footprint, a historical one forged as part of the UK.

“Scottish people, including the six hundred DFID officials based here in East Kilbride, can be proud of the immense contribution they have made to people living in poverty or coping with humanitarian disasters.

"We have a far bigger impact on the lives of the world’s neediest people because we have been united in this work rather than divided.

“A vote to break up the UK would change that completely."

At the same Better Together event, then Labour MP Michael McCann said:

“DFID is a global leader in the development world and many of the innovations that help the poorest people on our planet were born in East Kilbride."

Mr McCann negotiated resettlement packages when he was a full-time trade union official, and said in the event of separation staff would have to apply for a job in a smaller Scottish international development agency.

He added that they would have to move out of Scotland to continue working with DFID, move to another Scottish Government department, potentially outside East Kilbride, and definitely move outside the development field, or face redundancy.

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