08 Nov 2012

Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, will this afternoon host a debate concerning the 2014 Commonwealth Games which are to be held in Glasgow’s East End.

Speaking ahead of the Holyrood debate, John Mason, whose constituency will be on show to the world in 2014, said:

“I am very enthusiastic about the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow.  This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the East End to the rest of the world and I have every confidence that we will do that well.

“It is particularly encouraging to hear that the facilities currently being built are on-time and on-budget.  It is already clear from walking around the East End that the building work is coming along well. 

“The 2014 Commonwealth Games will be a real boost to the economy of Glasgow and will provide a lasting legacy for East End folk.  There have already been jobs for local people in construction and there will be more jobs in the longer term actually operating the facilities.  In addition local residents can obviously use the facilities just as they do other places operated by Glasgow Life.

“The Commonwealth Games – which are 80% funded by the SNP Government – is just the latest in a number of projects which will regenerate the East End.  These capital projects come in addition to the recently completed M74 motorway extension and the East End Regeneration Route, with the new station at Dalmarnock coming on well.

“It’s an exciting time to live in the East End and that excitement will only continue to grow as we approach 2014.

“Not only are we seeing the upgrade to the Tollcross Leisure Centre but there will be useful new complexes built such as the recently opened Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow Green.

“Not only will the sports facilities be a great attraction to people wanting to take part in sports, but the investment into the Athletes Village in Dalmarnock will alleviate some of the local housing problems with around 300 homes being handed over to local Housing Associations for social rent after the games”.


06 Nov 2012

Shettleston MSP John Mason has welcomed assurances from the Scottish Government that every support possible will be provided to workers at the Freshlink sausage factory in his constituency which is set to close.

The closure of the factory will cost the 145 workers at the site their jobs and efforts are now underway to support them into alternative employment. Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing is set to visit the factory on Friday to discuss the specifically tailored package of support that will be provided to employees.

John Mason campaigned extensively to save jobs at the Freshlink factory and was part of the taskforce that secured a generous offer of support from the Scottish Government, which Fergus Ewing today confirmed was the largest support package possible under Regional Selective Assistance rules.

This package was turned down by the company which has now confirmed that the factory will close, however many workers have complained that uncertainty over when the site will close is hindering people’s ability to apply for new jobs without jeopardising their redundancy packages.

Commenting, SNP MSP John Mason said:

“I remain bitterly disappointed over the closure of Freshlink, but the company’s decision has left us no option but to try and secure positive alternative futures for the 145 workers who are set to lose their jobs.

“I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has confirmed that a PACE team is drawing up a tailored package of skills development for workers and that it will continue to offer every support possible.

“The information on when the factory will close that has been given to workers by the company so far has been totally inadequate, so the assurance that the Enterprise Minister will press for more answers is a positive one.

“It is an extremely difficult situation when anyone loses their job, but that is made so much worse when workers are facing unnecessary uncertainty over when they personally will finish working there.  After the way they have been treated, the workers at Freshlink deserve far, far better.”



02 Nov 2012

Glasgow Shettleston’s MSP has spoken out of his frustration and disappointment at the news that the Freshlink sausage factory in his constituency is set to close.

There are 145 people currently employed at the site and efforts will now turn to ensuring that they are given every opportunity possible to find alternative opportunities.

Commenting, SNP MSP John Mason who has campaigned to save Freshlink said:

“I’m extremely disappointed at the company’s decision and know that this will come as a bitter blow to staff at the site.

“It is difficult not to conclude that Freshlink had little enthusiasm for finding a solution that would keep jobs in Glasgow, as the company persistently only sent a junior manager to the task force aimed at saving jobs.

“Having been part of that taskforce for the last four months, I know that substantial offers of help and assistance were put forward.  In addition, senior officials from Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Clyde Gateway and others have invested significant amounts of time in trying to find a solution.  It is extremely frustrating that the company chose not to take them up.

“The 145 staff at Freshlink will now be facing an uncertain future, but I welcome the confirmation that the Scottish Government will be putting a PACE team in place to help staff move into alternative employment.

“The company has still not clarified its timescale for closing the plant and this makes it more difficult for staff to find other jobs. This morning a Freshlink employee who has been there 18 years spoke to me and showed me the letter she had received from the Company. It was in very vague terms and, for the sake of the staff, I would appeal to them to clarify each employee’s position.

“My thoughts are with the staff who have had such disappointing news today and my focus will now be on ensuring that they have access to every possible opportunity to find new employment.”


22 Oct 2012

As North Lanarkshire based IT firm NVT secures a £2 million Commonwealth Games contract, the economic boost that the games is bringing to Scottish companies is clearer than ever.  To date, companies based in Scotland have won 312 of the 418 Games contracts awarded over the last three years, including almost 90% of the lucrative tier one contracts worth £276 million.

Meanwhile, iconic drinks makers AG Barr which produces Irn-Bru has been unveiled as the latest sponsor of the Games.  Many of the companies that have been awarded contracts, including NVT, have been able to expand their Modern Apprenticeship programmes as a result, bringing valuable opportunities to young people in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, whose constituency is where the games facilities are located, said:

“The SNP Government has been determined to ensure that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 delivers a lasting economic legacy to businesses and communities in Scotland.

“With the vast majority of contracts and almost 90% of tier one contracts having been awarded to companies in Scotland, it is clear that this is happening.

“Jobs are being created and Modern Apprenticeship programmes are being expanded, as the Commonwealth Games brings opportunities to people in Scotland.

“That is great news for Glasgow, great news for Scotland but most importantly great news for the businesses and communities which are already benefitting from the Commonwealth Games in 2014.”