Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 15:56 UK

Hewlett-Packard to cut 700 jobs


The BBC's Hayley Millar reports on the job losses at Hewlett-Packard

A total of 700 manufacturing jobs are to be cut at the Hewlett-Packard plant in Erskine near Glasgow.

The company is to close its manufacturing operations in Scotland and Germany and transfer the work to the Czech Republic.

About 1,300 people are employed by the electronics firm in Erskine and it is understood 600 will remain at the site.

Speaking at First Minister's Questions, Alex Salmond said everything would be done to assist those made redundant.

Mr Salmond was speaking in response to a question from the local MSP, Trish Godman, who said she had been informed of the job cuts.

It is disgusting. These workers are being tossed aside after helping to make vast profits for Hewlett
Jim Sheridan
Local MP

Ms Godman told MSPs that Hewlett-Packard had made significant profits last year.

She said this was due in part to the "hard work of the men and women in my constituency".

A statement from the company said: "HP regularly reviews its businesses and markets to ensure they continue to offer the best possible value to our customers."

Local MP Jim Sheridan reacted angrily to the news and accused the firm of abandoning the workforce.

He said: "It is disgusting. These workers are being tossed aside after helping to make vast profits for Hewlett."

Hugh Henry, MSP for Paisley South, said: "This is a disgraceful move by a profitable company.

"All sorts of promises were made to the local community to try to justify the destruction of the green belt when the factory was built.

"Huge amounts of public funds have been used to assist these companies."

Agency staff

He called on First Minister Alex Salmond to force the company to face up to its responsibilities.

He added: "I want him to examine whether any grants can be reclaimed.

"I also want him to promise that an emergency task force will be sent in to help workers find alternative employment."

The Erskine plant was opened in 1987 by Compaq and was taken over by Hewlett-Packard in 2002. At one stage 2,500 people were employed on the site.

Most of the workers still at the Erskine plant are agency staff, employed by outside organisations such as Manpower.

In January, the company said it was cutting its night shift with the loss of 153 jobs.

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