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Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 14:16 GMT

UK: Scotland

Power cuts spark union warning

The jobs will go over three years

Scottish Power is to cut 450 jobs over the next three years as part of an efficiency drive.

But a union has warned that consumers will be affected by the losses.

The redundancies are among workers who maintain electricity lines and look after sub power stations throughout Scotland.

[ image: Scottish Power denies service will be affected]
Scottish Power denies service will be affected
The reductions will begin next year and 150 will leave each year until the total is reached.

Scottish Power says the move is necessary as it drives for greater efficiency in line with demands from the electricity regulator for cheaper bills for consumers.

The AEEU, which represents the staff, said they had been caught between Scottish Power and the electricity pricing review.

Spokesman Danny Keeney said: "We see it as an over-reaction to the regulator's review of the distribution price review and the company can't tell us exactly where these job losses are going to be.

"We are not certain it will not affect service to the customer."

The union said it would take Scottish Power longer to resume power because of the loss of skilled jobs.

Scottish Power said there would be no loss in service and hope that all the redundancies will be achieved by natural wastage and voluntary redundancy.

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