Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to make Pladis “an offer they cannot refuse” to stop the closure of the McVitie’s factory in Glasgow.
Almost 500 jobs are at risk after the firm issued redundancy notices to workers at the Tollcross site, which produces biscuits including Hobnobs and Rich Tea.
Workers who are part of the GMB trade union were campaigning outside Holyrood on Thursday before delivering a petition with more than 72,000 signatures to the Scottish Government.
During First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill thanked the Finance Secretary and the working group set up to save the factory from closure but urged Ms Sturgeon to “lead the charge”.
Issuing a challenge reminiscent of a famous line in the Godfather movie, Ms McNeill said: “Will the First Minister use her international recognition and skills that she has to eyeball directly the owners of McVitie’s and put everything on the table that is possible to make sure that they are presented with an offer they cannot refuse?
“First Minister, I believe that you need to lead this charge and we will all be behind you in doing so.
“The McVitie’s factory in Glasgow cannot be allowed to close.”
Ms Sturgeon replied: “As Pauline McNeill is aware, the Finance Secretary with the leader of Glasgow City Council co-chairs an action group to try to save the McVitie’s plant in the east end, which I am 100% behind.
“The Finance Secretary is communicating just this week with Pladis senior management to make very clear our disappointment at the lack of constructive engagement about the options with Scottish Government support for saving that site.
“We will not give up. We will do everything we possibly can.
“I will certainly do everything I can to make sure that any option there is to save that site, to save those jobs, is taken forward by the Government.
“We cannot force a company to accept offers of help that we give, but we will do everything we can to make sure that those offers are credible and do everything to make sure that they are accepted.”
Ms Sturgeon explained she was unable to accept the petition personally because she was heading to the funeral of former SNP MSP and MP Andrew Welsh, who died last week, but that a minister would accept it on the Government’s behalf.
She added: “The workers do not have to petition me and the Scottish Government, we are on their side and we will do everything we can to save their jobs.”