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Friday, October 9, 1998 Published at 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK


Business: The Economy

Job losses nationwide

Job losses have been concentrated in Scotland and the Northeast

Job losses in manufacturing industry have continued to mount since the summer.

And some of Britain's most prestigous inward investment projects are among the main victims.

Many UK manufacturers blame the strong pound, which has made their goods more expensive overseas.

More recently, a number of job losses have been announced in the financial services industry, which has been affected by the global financial turmoil and mergers and consolidations.

Here is a list of the main job losses announced since June.

Main job losses

  • Shell: 500 jobs

    On June 11 Shell announced the closure of its Shell Haven refinery on Canvey Island, in the Thames Estuary, with the loss of 500 jobs. The company blamed overcapacity in the refining industry.

  • British Steel: 10,000 jobs

    British Steel announced a radical restructuing plan on 15 June after profits tumbled due to the high pound. The company plans to de-layer its white collar workforce over the next four years, leading to up to 10,000 job losses. Last year 2,000 workers were made redundant.

  • Diageo: 850 jobs

    The drinks giant Diageo, product of a merger between Guinness and Grand Met, announced 850 jobs losses at its bottling plants in Strathleven near Glasgow and Basildon in Essex. The move, announced June 19, is part of corporate restructuring following the merger.

  • Hyundai: 2,000 jobs

    The Korean conglomerate Hyundai decided to postpone indefinitely plans to build a computer chip plant in Dunfermline, Scotland - next to the Chancellor's constituency - on June 26. The joint venture with Intel would have created 2,000 jobs. The company later merged its worldwide chip-making operations with Korean rival LG.

  • Molins: 400 jobs

    On June 29, the tobacco machinery manufacturer Molins announced the closure of its Peterborough plant with a loss of 400 jobs. The company said it was suffering from a decline in orders from the Far East.

  • Dawsons: 720 jobs

    Knitwear manufacturer Dawsons, which makes Pringle sweaters, announced the closure of two factories in Galasheils and Berwick in the Scottish borders on June 30. The company blamed the strong pound.

  • MFI: 1,500 jobs

    The kitchen and furniture group MFI said it would cut 1,500 jobs at its showrooms nationwide on June 30. The company has been suffering from a slump in demand, especially in the North, due to lack of consumer confidence.

  • Rover: 1,500 jobs

    Rover Cars, based in the West Midlands, announced on July 23, 1,500 jobs were to go through voluntary redundancy. The company, owned by Germany's BMW, blamed the strength of the pound.

  • Siemens: 1,100 jobs

    The German electronics group Siemens announced the closure of its semi-conductor plant in Newcastle on July 31 with the loss of 1,100 jobs. The company said competition from Far Eastern manufacturers was to blame. The plant was only opened in May 1997.

  • SR Gent: 500 jobs

    On August 5 clothing manufacturer SR Gent announced up to 500 redundancies at its factories in Sheffield, Barnsley, and Doncaster. The company, which supplies Marks & Spencer, blamed cheaper competition from the Far East.

  • Grove Cranes: 670 jobs

    The Sunderland-based Grove Cranes said it was to close its factory on August 10 with the loss of 670 jobs. The company blamed the recession in the manufacturing sector. The company was once part of the Hanson Group.

  • BOC: 500 jobs

    The industrial gases company BOC announced a radical worldwide restructuring on August 11, with 500 jobs to go in the UK as part of a cut of 4,900 worldwide. The jobs losses include closure of its unit which supplies ultra-clean gases for the semi-conductor industry, and cuts at its Surrey headquarters.

  • Viasystems: 1,000 jobs

    On August 26, the US electronics firm Viasystems said it was running down the production of electronic circuit boards in the borders region of Scotland. Up to 1,000 jobs would go in plants at Selkirk and Galashiels. The company said it was part of a worldwide restructuring.

  • LG Semiconductors: 2,000 jobs

    The other big Korean company investing in the UK, LG, announced on September 3 it was to merge its semi-conductor operations with rival Hyundai. The move puts at risk plans for the company to complete its computer chip plant in Newport, South Wales, which is already under construction. Around 2000 jobs could be at risk.

  • Fujitsu: 600 jobs

    On September 4, the Japanese computer manufacturer Fujitsu announced that it would close its semi-conductor plant in Newton Aycliffe in the north east - in the Prime Minister's constituency. The company blamed the loss of 600 jobs on worldwide over-capacity in the semiconductor industry.

  • Vaux Breweries: 600 jobs

    The brewers Vaux, based in the north east of England, said on September 14 they would sell their breweries in Sheffield and Sunderland in order to concentrate on their leisure interests, including Swallow Hotels, putting 600 jobs at risk.

  • Vickers: 700 jobs

    The defence contractor Vickers announced the closure of its factory in Leeds on September 17 with the loss of 700 jobs. The company is suffering from in a decline in orders for its Challenger tank, after the end of the Cold War.

  • William Bard: 430 jobs

    Textile company William Bard said on September 18 that it planned to cut 430 jobs from three of its factories in Wales and Ellesmere Port.

  • Nortel: 580 jobs

    The Canadian-owned telecoms giant Nortel announced it was cutting almost 600 jobs in the UK on September 21 as a result of a major restructuring programme.

    Nortel said 530 jobs at Paignton, Devon and 50 at Maidenhead in Berkshire had to go because of a slowdown in the market for telecoms equipment.

  • Barclaycard: 1,100 jobs

    On September 22, Barclaycard, the UK's largest credit-card issuer, announced 1,100 job losses - one quarter of its workforce - at its headquarters in Northampton and other offices across the country. The company blamed growing competition from other credit card companies.

  • National Semiconductor: 600 jobs

    National Semiconductor announced job losses of around 600 at its Greenock plant in Renfrewshire on October 5 because of a "worldwide overcapacity".

  • Rank Xerox: 500 jobs

    Rank Xerox announced the loss of 500 jobs at its photocopier plant in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, on October 10. Some jobs may be relocated to another facility in Scotland.

  • Robert H. Lowe: 380 jobs

    The clothing manufacturer Robert H. Lowe, which makes replica football kits, said it would close its factories at Congleton, Cheshire, and Langley Moor, near Durham, with the loss of 380 jobs on October 10. The company blamed high interest rates.

  • Merrill Lynch: 400 jobs

    The American investment bank Merrill Lynch said on October 12 that it was cutting 5% of its workforce worldwide as a result of losses resulting from the global financial markets meltdown. Around 400 jobs would go in Europe, the vast majority in London.

  • GRE/PPP: 300 jobs

    The insurance group Guardian Royal Exchange announced that it was cutting 300 jobs as a result of its takeover of health insurer PPP. It was concentrating its activities in Tunbridge Wells, closing offices in Folkestone and Eastbourne.





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The Economy Contents


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22 Sep 98 | The Company File
Barclaycard axes 1,100 jobs

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