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Scottish Government monitoring OKI situation; preparing plans to support redundant staff

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:56 GMT on Thursday, May 16th, 2013.

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Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.

THREE weeks ago Japanese electronics giants, OKI, announced plans to almost halve approximately 175 positions from its Cumbernauld workforce.

OKI said that the axe was down to planned restructuring with a company spokeswoman saying that the company recognised that the axe will be a “significant blow” for their staff and for the “local community in Cumbernauld.”

Last month, an OKI spokeswoman said: “We are aware this will be a significant blow to our staff and to the local community in Cumbernauld and as we enter into a period of consultation, our priority is to support affected employees whilst we go through this difficult process therefore no further details can be provided at this time.”

For crunch time talks, Scottish Finance secretary John Swinney visited the Cumbernauld factory, on 26th April, to hold talks with the plant’s management.

Now, however, the Scottish Government has outlined its response to the firm’s plans. 

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During last Thursday’s session at the Scottish Parliament, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn raised the issue, with Local Government minister, Derek Mackay explaining that the Scottish Government was monitoring the situation very closely. 

The minister added that plans are being put in place to support any member of the town’s OKI workforce who are made redundant, adding that Finance Secretary John Swinney will meet with the firm’s Chief Executive, during an upcoming visit to Japan.

Commenting outside of the parliamentary chamber, Cumbernauld’s SNP MSP, Jamie Hepburn said that the Scottish Government’s support is “to be welcomed”.

Mr Hepburn added: “OKI is a major employer in the local area and the planned job cuts would effectively half their workforce. If they go ahead with this it will impact Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.”

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