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Sunday, 22 April, 2001, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Electronics jobs fears grow
The Scottish Executive is to hold talks with the American electronics giant Honeywell amid concern 750 jobs could be under threat at its factory in Motherwell.
The company is to axe 6,500 jobs worldwide and ministers want to establish quickly whether the Lanarkshire plant is to suffer.
The news deepens the gloom for the Scottish electronics sector, hit by a spate of job cut threats.
Three thousand workers at the Motorola plant in Bathgate are waiting to hear if their jobs are to go, while Matsushita said on Friday it was considering shutting a TV components plant in East Kilbride with the possible loss of 100 jobs.
Compaq announced earlier this month that it was to shed 700 jobs at its Erskine factory.
The manufacture of PCs is being transferred to Eastern Europe, and it is hoped some of the redundancies will be made on a voluntary basis.
The Renfrewshire plant will continue to manufacture made-to-order personal computers, as well as servers.
It reported first quarter net income of $41m down from $506m a year earlier.
The company said it was cutting 5% of its global workforce, leading to fears that this may include job losses at the Motherwell plant.
However, unions are hopeful that the 750 staff will escape unscathed.
Workers at Motorola in Bathgate - who returned to work on Sunday after an enforced two week break - are still waiting to learn their fate.
The American mobile phone giant is expected to announce this week whether the Bathgate plant is to be mothballed.
Mr Blair held a 15-minute telephone conversation with Motorola's president, Chris Galvin, in an effort to stave off any immediate closure measures.
It was widely thought that the American telecom giant would announce the closure of the West Lothian factory as it unveiled losses of $206m for the first three months of the year.
The company has been trying to improve its financial performance by taking aggressive cost-cutting measures including the slashing of 22,000 or 15% of its jobs this year.