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Friday, 23 February, 2001, 10:10 GMT
Polaroid cuts Scottish workforce
Camera film
Polaroid said it is cutting the number of staff
Polaroid has announced plans to cut more than 230 jobs at its plant in the west of Scotland.

The US camera and film manufacturer said it was making a total of 235 people redundant at its Vale of Leven plant in Dunbartonshire, which employs 850 people.

Polaroid said the job losses would be among manufacturing and administration staff and were part of nearly 1,000 job cuts worldwide which would take effect over the next three months.

The GMB Scotland union described the decision as a "bitter blow" for the employees and the fragile local economy.

I-Zone camera
The plant had announced expansion in 1999
The firm, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said the worldwide restructuring was aimed at cutting overheads, "realigning" the company's resources, and speeding implementation of its digital strategy.

In its statement on the Vale of Leven operation, it said: "The site will become more focused on new product delivery, capitalising on the unique position of having design, development and manufacturing co-located as part of an integrated operation."

GMB senior organiser, Jim Moohan, said it was rebuffed when it approached the firm last year to seek a partnership agreement.

He said: "GMB believes there was a fear factor amongst employees at Polaroid in their reluctance to join a union.

Manufacturing site

"It is a great shame that now there is no union there to assist at this difficult time."

Polaroid began production at a new camera film factory on the Vale of Leven site in 1999, which led to the creation of 250 jobs.

The new facility, which forms part of the company's existing manufacturing site, produced miniature film for a top-selling pocket camera.

The development was seen as a means of securing the future of the plant by broadening its role from the assembly of products to a fully integrated design, development and manufacturing site.

The company began operations in Scotland in 1965.

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10 Sep 99 | Scotland
Polaroid jobs picture bright
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