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The workers who bought out their bosses – and secured their futures


It had all been going so well. In this smoothest of seductions, John Clark and Alistair Miller hadn’t had to do a thing. There they were, itching to sell their business and get on with retirement.

Then one day in the middle of 2015, this American firm – big-time, way out of their league – swung by the factory outside Glasgow and asked: what price do you have in mind? This was followed by an invitation back to the multinational’s European headquarters in the home counties.

So off popped Miller. The two sides were inching towards the dotted line when he casually inquired what the Americans would do with their new Scottish premises. This one question sent the needle screeching across the record.

As soon as the managing director across the desk started talking about “exploring possibilities” and “transferable technologies”, Miller knew what she meant. Their Scottish operation would run for another six months, a year tops.

Then it would be shut – and the order book and the technology shifted down south. And when the factory disappeared, so too would the jobs and the livelihoods of 60-odd workers and their families. Selling up would hand the owners a huge cheque, and leave their staff on a tiny giro.  Read More


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