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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 17:37 GMT
IBM transfers computer jobs
Computer worker - generic
The jobs will be transferred to contractor Sanmina
Hundreds of staff at IBM's computer manufacturing plant in Greenock are to be transferred to a new employer.

IBM has confirmed that 650 staff at the Inverclyde plant will now be employed by fellow US company Sanmina-SCI.

It has struck a deal to sell the plant and its production lines to Sanmina which will work as a manufacturing contractor for IBM.

The move is part of a plan to outsource a significant portion of IBM's global manufacturing capability to Sanmina and another company, Solectron.

Danny Carrigan
Our members are happy that they still have work to do but they are unhappy that IBM are disposing of them as employees

Danny Carrigan, Amicus
IBM's decision on the Greenock plant confirmed an earlier disclosure from union officials who said that the workers would not lose their jobs, as had originally been feared.

The company said: "IBM has signed a $3.6bn, three-year contract with Sanmina-SCI and a $120m, three-year contract with Solectron to provide specific manufacturing services. The deals are expected to close in February.

"Sanmina-SCI intends to use existing IBM locations to fulfill the contract and will acquire or lease related IBM equipment and buildings in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Greenock, Scotland.

"The agreement includes the transfer of about 650 IBM employees in Greenock."

The deal was the second major industrial announcement for Inverclyde this week.

On Monday, Fullarton Computer Industries announced the loss of 500 jobs at its Gourock plant, which assembled computers for Sanmina.

Call centre operations

Amicus regional secretary Danny Carrigan said: "We are relieved that there will be no compulsory redundancies at the Greenock plant, particularly in light of the 500 whose jobs are going from FCI Gourock.

"Our members are happy that they still have work to do but they are unhappy that IBM are disposing of them as employees raising fears over terms and conditions of employment and pensions."

IBM, which employs 5,500 people in the Inverclyde area, had refused to discuss plans prior to talks with workers.

FCI
Fullarton announced 500 job losses
Most employees work in the firm's call centre operations but about 700 have been employed in manufacturing.

BBC Scotland understands that the remainder of the Greenock staff will continue to work in other parts of IBM.

Greenock and Inverclyde MP David Cairns said the IBM announcement was "much more encouraging" following the job losses at FCI.

He said: "The fear was that IBM could just walk away from manufacturing altogether but they haven't done that or send the jobs away to China or Hungary.

"IBM haven't done that. They've gone into this new arrangement with Sanmina-SCI, a very large company which has a lot of experience in this field.

"They've given them a three-year contract, which frankly is an eternity in this day and age and also given them the ability to go out and bring new business in."

A Scottish Executive spokesman said IBM had agreed to the transfer of staff under regulations protecting their employment and government officials would be seeking talks with Sanmina to discuss its future strategy.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Business correspondent Hayley Millar
"Nobody can predict what will happen in the computer market"
See also:

04 Jan 03 | Scotland
06 Jan 03 | Scotland
31 Oct 02 | Business
04 Jul 02 | Scotland
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