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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 15:30 GMT
Jobs concern at electronics plant
IBM personal computer
The union is concerned over manufacturing jobs
Union officials are seeking talks with computer giant IBM amid fears that hundreds of jobs could be lost at its plant in Greenock.

Managers at the Inverclyde site have confirmed that staff are being called together but will not comment on reports that an announcement will be made on Tuesday.

Engineering union Amicus has called on the Scottish Executive to step in and take action to prevent any cuts to the 700 manufacturing staff on the site.

IBM employs a total of 5,500 people at its Greenock plant, mainly as call centre operators.

Danny Carrigan
We need the Scottish Executive to impress upon IBM the importance of manufacturing to Inverclyde and Scotland as a whole

Danny Carrigan
Amicus

Danny Carrigan, Scottish regional secretary of the Amicus union, said workers feared that the manufacturing staff could lose their jobs.

He said he planned to contact management at the plant on Monday morning when they return after the Christmas break.

And he called on ministers to step in immediately and take decisive action to prevent any cuts.

Mr Carrigan said: "We have been contacted by some of our members who are concerned about their futures.

Quash rumours

"There have been worries for the last four or five months and the company has refused to clarify the position.

"It looks like there's going to be a major announcement on Tuesday, so I will be contacting the company on Monday asking them to come clean and tell the workers what's happening.

"We also need the Scottish Executive to impress upon IBM the importance of manufacturing to Inverclyde and Scotland as a whole."

IBM's Greenock staff were left fearing for their jobs last August when bosses refused to quash rumours that manufacturing could switch to Hungary or China to cut costs.

Global downturn

A company spokesman confirmed that there would be employee meetings at the plant on Tuesday, but added: "We don't comment on speculation."

A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on rumour or speculation."

Electronics manufacturing in Scotland has suffered in the past two years as a result of a global downturn.

Thousands of jobs have been lost at firms such as Motorola, NEC and Chunghwa.

See also:

31 Oct 02 | Business
22 Oct 02 | Business
16 Oct 02 | Business
18 Aug 02 | Technology
30 Jul 02 | Business
05 Jun 02 | Business
19 Jun 02 | Business
04 Jun 02 | Business
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