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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 12:36 GMT
Factory protesters in fresh demo
Simclar protesters
Protesters gather outside Simclar's factory in Irvine
About 20 workers who occupied the Simclar factory in Kilwinning overnight in a protest over job cuts have ended their sit-in.

They had spent more than 24 hours in the building campaigning against the loss of more than 400 jobs at two electronics plants in Ayrshire.

Friends and colleagues passed food through the gate to protesters.

Up to 60 workers and politicians have begun a fresh protest outside, demanding better redundancy packages.

Simclar announced on Monday it was closing two of its Ayrshire plants, in Irvine and Kilwinning, with the loss of 420 jobs.

The protesters stormed the Kilwinning factory on Friday.

The site's administrators said it was in discussion with the demonstrators.

Solidarity MSP Rosemary Byrne spent the night in the factory with the former employees.

The workers at Simclar have been treated disgracefully and are determined to fight for their jobs and their rights
Rosemary Byrne MSP

The protesters, who are members of the trade union Community, said they want more than the minimum state redundancy they have been offered.

Police were called to the site but made no arrests.

Willie Paterson, Scottish regional secretary of Community, said: "Simclar appears to have no shame about how it is treating the loyal, highly-skilled workforce in Ayrshire, many of whom have up to 18 years' service with the company."

Dunfermline-based Simclar blamed pressure from low-cost economies, falling orders and increased uncertainty within the Scottish manufacturing sector.

Ms Byrne said: "The workers at Simclar have been treated disgracefully and are determined to fight for their jobs and their rights."

'Financial liabilities'

The Kilwinning site's administrators Kroll said it was aware of the situation at the factory.

A Simclar Group spokesman said it had tried to keep the Ayrshire plants "viable".

He said: "Simclar Ayrshire had experienced significant difficulties and had lost several key contracts with major customers.

"These losses - combined with competition from low-cost economies, rising raw materials costs and high-fixed costs - meant the financial liabilities in Ayrshire were such that Simclar Group could not sustain them any longer."

Central Ayrshire Labour MP Brian Donohoe gave the demonstrators his full backing.

He said: "Simclar's workforce occupied the plant to demonstrate against the company's failure to meet its responsibility in paying redundancy money."


SEE ALSO
Sacked staff storm Ayrshire plant
02 Feb 07 |  Glasgow and West
Job cuts boss attacks McConnell
01 Feb 07 |  Glasgow and West
'Callous' company cuts 420 jobs
29 Jan 07 |  Glasgow and West
Electronics plant cuts 240 jobs
22 Nov 06 |  Glasgow and West
Workers 'shocked' at factory cuts
12 Feb 06 |  Scotland

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