Scottish workers face double dose of job cuts

Havelock Europa chief executive David Ritchie
Havelock Europa chief executive David Ritchie
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About 100 job losses were announced today at companies operating in Fife and West Lothian.

Shopfitting and interiors group Havelock Europa set out plans to axe 50 jobs at its headquarters in Kirkcaldy, while US electronics manufacturer is to cut a similar number of roles at its plant near Bathgate.

Havelock said its cutbacks follow a profit warning last week, in which it signalled a “material” hit to its results due to a significant cutback in spending by its biggest client in the financial services sector.

Havelock had already announced in September that it was cutting about 50 jobs, equivalent to 10 per cent of its staff, to bring its headcount down to 450.

The latest redundancies to hit its Kirkcaldy headquarters, announced to staff this morning, are expected to be made over the next month.

Chief executive David Ritchie said: “Any decision to reduce jobs is an incredibly difficult one to take but we must respond quickly and decisively to this loss of income for the long-term good of the business and the wider workforce.

“We will, of course, do everything we can to support those colleagues affected over the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Wisconsin-based Plexus blamed the downturn in the oil and gas sector as it announced plans to reduce volume manufacturing capacity at its 47,000 square foot site at the Pyramids Business Park, which lies off the M8 between Bathgate and Livingston.

Oliver Mihm, the Nasdaq-listed group’s regional president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “We take this measure reluctantly as it will affect approximately 50 of our loyal and hard-working employees. However, changing end market dynamics, particularly within the oil and gas industry, have required us to reduce our UK capacity to match customer demand.

“Many of the customer programmes currently supported by the Livingston manufacturing operations will be transferred to our Kelso manufacturing facility.”

He added: “Plexus remains committed to its presence in Scotland. Our Livingston design centre is a significant success story that is complimented by our European centre of excellence for rapid prototyping within the Livingston site. Having these capabilities in close proximity to one another will continue to enable our customers’ to meet their product realisation needs.”

The cutback in manufacturing capacity is expected to be complete by the end of February. The move is aimed at generating annual savings of up to £1.1 million, Plexus said.

In 2012, the company said it would be creating 130 jobs under plans to move its design centre to larger premises.

At the time, then First Minister Alex Salmond said the £9m investment, backed by £1m of support from Scottish Enterprise, was “very welcome” after Vion’s decision to close its Hall’s of Broxburn meat plant with the loss of 1,700 jobs.