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GMB Scottish organiser Ian King
"The blame lies at the door of Marks and Spencer"
 real 28k

Brian Wilson, Scotland Office Minister
"I've never seen a workforce that less deserves what has happened to them"
 real 28k

Thursday, 23 March, 2000, 14:25 GMT
Axed M&S supplier in jobs warning
Daks Simpson
Jobs at two Scottish factories under threat
The clothing company Daks Simpson has confirmed that more than 600 Scottish jobs could be lost after it lost a contract with Marks and Spencer.

The company, which employs around 1,300 people at factories in Larkhall, Lanarkshire, and Polbeth, in West Lothian, said the maximum number of redundancies could be 628.

However, it said it was trying to secure replacement contracts and hoped the final number of job losses would be less than 600 when the contract to supply M&S finally comes to an end in May.

The size of the contract has made its complete replacement almost impossible in today's climate

Managing director Kevin Johnson
The company was among a number affected by the store group's decision to switch to overseas suppliers.

It has started a 90-day consultation period with trades union representatives and voluntary redundancy was being offered to staff.

Daks Simpson has been a major supplier of M&S, producing men's suits, jackets and trousers.

Managing director Kevin Johnson said: "This is a very sad time for Daks Simpson in Scotland after 28 years as a major supplier to Marks & Spencer.

M&S label
Daks among number of casualties
"The size of the contract has made its complete replacement almost impossible in today's business climate, but the contract division has achieved a great deal in a brief period and without their efforts the redundancy figure would have been around 200 higher.

"They are continuing to develop new contracts which it is hoped will further reduce the number of redundancies."

M&S announced in November last year it was ending its contract with Daks.

Scotland Office Minister Brian Wilson paid tribute to the Daks staff.

He said: "Daks Simpson have made a tremendous effort since the Marks and Spencer axe fell to bring new work into their Scottish operation.

Redundancy notices

"This has secured some of the jobs and the efforts to bridge the gap further are continuing.

"The precautionary redundancy notices issued today represent the maximum number of jobs that could be lost.

"However, I very much hope that the ongoing efforts to win new business will further reduce the number of actual redundancies."

The GMB union said the number of job losses caused by Marks and Spencer's controversial decision to source more work abroad could reach 8,000.

Textile worker
Efforts to lessen jobs blow
The union's general secretary John Edmonds urged the UK Government to help safeguard the jobs of textile workers.

"The fact that Marks and Spencer are a British company does not absolve them from the responsibility they have to their workers - responsibility we expect to see from such an organisation."

Councils and enterprise agencies in Lanarkshire and West Lothian have joined forces to support workers and provide other employment options.

Ian Carmichael, Chief Executive of Lanarkshire Development Agency, said: "Daks has made strenuous efforts to secure alternative work and we are encouraged by the company's commitment to retaining staff in Scotland and minimising the number of redundancies.

"However, the prospect of significant jobs losses at the company is undoubtedly a setback."

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See also:

29 Feb 00 | Business
M&S supplier plunges into loss
17 Feb 00 | Scotland
Textiles workers' plea for help
14 Feb 00 | Scotland
Scottish jobs come and go
30 Dec 99 | Scotland
Shoppers urge M&S to buy British
11 Jan 00 | Business
M&S sued by supplier
11 Jan 00 | Business
M&S: A brand new challenge
12 Jan 00 | Business
M&S sales plummet
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