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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Action likely over job cuts
Ethicon sign
Union officials have been in talks with Ethicon
Workers at a medical equipment firm which plans to axe up to 850 jobs have voiced "overwhelming" support for industrial action, their union has revealed.

T&G Scotland said a consultative ballot of its members at Ethicon resulted in a 95% vote in favour of action.

The company said in May that it plans to close its plants at Sighthill and Crossway, both in Edinburgh, and its distribution centre at Livingston.

Ethicon, part of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, wants to move production to Puerto Rico, Brazil, the US and Germany while distribution will switch to North Yorkshire.

At the time of the announcement the company said it "deeply regretted" the decision and pledged to do everything within reason to help its Scottish staff.

Call for talks

But T&G Scottish secretary Andy Baird said that there was a great deal of anger among staff.

"The result shows the depth of anger felt by our members at Ethicon and indicates their strong resolve to oppose compulsory redundancies," he said.

"Since the closure announcement was made, our union has presented proposals which, if taken up, would negate the need for compulsory redundancies and resolve the situation in a way that would be mutually beneficial for everyone concerned.

"However, the company has ignored these suggestions and has not addressed the consultation process over the redundancies in a meaningful way."

He added: "Given the scale of the vote in favour of a call for action, we urge the company to engage with us in immediate talks through ACAS and to seriously address the alternatives to compulsory redundancies."

Firms cut hundreds of jobs
29 May 03  |  Scotland

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