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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 21:46 GMT
Electronics firm to cut more jobs
Simclar protest
Workers for Simclar staged protests after the Ayrshire closures
An electronics manufacturer is to axe 80 jobs in Fife, less than a year after it closed two plants in Ayrshire.

Simclar said the latest cuts were part of a redundancy programme at its factory in Dunfermline.

The group closed facilities in Irvine and Kilwinning in January, with the loss of 420 jobs.

Simclar bosses blamed a harsh global economy and said more job losses could follow. The Dunfermline site employs about 330 staff.

About 420 workers lost their jobs when the Ayrshire factories closed at the beginning of the year.

We're now operating in a harsh global environment wherein the customer is king
Sam Russell
Simclar owner

The closures sparked protests from employees, politicians and union officials.

Simclar owner Sam Russell, who founded the company in his garage over 30 years ago, said he had spoken to the Dunfermline staff this week.

He said: "This causes me great anguish. I started this company 32 years ago in Dunfermline and in terms of the UK electronics sector and component assembly we are virtually the last man standing.

"Over three decades I've striven to create and retain Scottish jobs in Scotland.

"We're now operating in a harsh global environment wherein the customer is king.

"If we can't supply their needs at the price they demand then they'll go elsewhere. It's as simple as that."

Redundancy programme

He added: "Simclar Group, as a player on the global stage, continues to remain in a healthy condition.

"That, of course, will be little comfort to those of our workforce in Dunfermline who will be out of work but the steps we are taking are necessary if the company is to survive and continue to prosper.

"And they are absolutely essential if we wish to retain a significant presence in Dunfermline which is certainly my aim."

Mr Russell said that the redundancy programme would begin in mid-January.

This is grim news. The workers must feel gutted
Willie Rennie
Dunfermline MP

Willie Rennie, the Dunfermline and West Fife MP, said: "This is grim news. The workers must feel gutted. I will be there for workers if they want advice and support.

"I will work with Carnegie College, Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise to help them find new jobs. They are good workers and I'm confident that other firms will be keen to employ them."

Mr Rennie said he had spoken to Mr Russell and hoped to have further discussions with him next week.

"He's been trying to fend this off for some time," he added. "I have offered my support to help the company recover from these difficult times."

Simclar produces cables and components for firms like IBM, Motorola and Eriksson.

The firm also has manufacturing plants in China, Mexico and the US, with a global workforce of 1,800.

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