Workers at Fort William’s historic smelter met the new bosses yesterday following the announcement that their jobs had been saved.
A deal was struck this week with mining giant Rio Tinto following almost a year of uncertainty over the future of the aluminium plant, saving around 170 jobs.
Rio Tinto is to sell the assets to industrial group GFG Alliance’s operations company SIMEC for £330million.
The smelter will be operated by the Liberty House Group SIMEC’s sister company.
Scotland’s biggest union has welcomed the news.
Unite regional officer Richard Whyte said: “The saying about the devil being in the detail is true, but on the face of it this is great news for the workforce, great news for Lochaber and great news for manufacturing industry in this country.
“It appears that our members’ jobs are safe, the plant’s future is secured, and the new owners say they are committed to working with the community and ourselves to develop the local economy and create more jobs in the future.
“Our workplace representatives met with the new owners today and we expect good relations going forward.”
It emerged in January that global mining giant Rio Tinto was conducting a “strategic review” of its Highland assets.
About 170 staff work at the multinational firm’s Fort William aluminium smelter – the last of its kind in the UK and dating back to the 1920s – and hydroelectric plant in Kinlochleven, making it one of the biggest private employers in the Highlands.