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EDITIONS
Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Computer maker cuts 650 jobs
Compaq screen
The company cut 700 jobs last year
Six hundred and fifty jobs have been cut at the former Compaq computer factory in Scotland.

Management at the Erskine site, in Renfrewshire, said the job losses were a result of its merger with dominant partner Hewlett Packard (HP) earlier this year.

They came as the company announced plans to shed a total of 1,580 jobs in the UK.

On Tuesday, HP announced plans to reduce its European workforce by almost 6,000.

Hands on keyboard
Compaq merged with Hewlett Packard
About 450 permanent employees face redundancy at Erskine along with almost 200 temporary staff - leaving a permanent workforce of about 900.

The company said no decision had been made on where the 950 other permanent posts would be lost.

The downturn in the electronics industry has been causing problems for computer companies for many months now and the merger of Compaq and Hewlett Packard was viewed as an indication of how difficult things had become.

The combined HP group boasts a global workforce of 150,000 but experts viewed post-merger redundancies as inevitable.

A HP spokesman said Scottish staff would be given the chance to retrain for work in other parts of the company.

New technology

BBC Scotland business news organiser, Sandy Murray, said: "This is a further indication of how Scotland has been hit by its past dependence on electronics manufacturing.

"Since the boom times in the run-up to the year 2000 most businesses have radically cut back their investment in new technology."

The US-based manufacturer Compaq announced 700 jobs losses at the Renfrewshire plant in April last year.


Every effort must be made to save these jobs and support the workforce

Colin Campbell
Scottish National Party
At that time it stressed that the plant would continue to manufacture made-to-order personal computers, as well as servers.

Danny Carrigan, Scottish regional secretary of the Amicus union, said the announcement is a major setback for Scotland's electronics industry, known as Silicon Glen.

He said: "This is devastating news for the workforce and comes as a major blow on the eve of the holiday period.

"We must stem the tide of manufacturing jobs being lost. This is another nail in the coffin of Silicon Glen and is bad news for the Scottish economy."

Scottish National Party MSP Colin Campbell voiced his concern for those losing their jobs.

Alternative employment

"We were afraid that the link-up between Compaq and Hewlett Packard might have this effect, and it's dreadful that this fear has been realised," he said.

"Every effort must be made to save these jobs and support the workforce.

"The (Scottish) Executive must pull out the stops and do all it can to secure jobs, or assist in providing alternative employment."

A spokesperson for the executive expressed "regret" over the job cuts.

"Officials at the Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise have been in close contact with the company here and in the US and following today's announcement will continue to work closely with the company," said the statement.

"Support will be provided to those affected through specialist response teams who will offer advice, support and guidance in terms of retraining, upskilling and employment opportunities."

See also:

03 May 02 | Business
02 Apr 01 | Scotland
20 Mar 02 | Business
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