The announcement, which was made today (May 21) was a bitter pill for the company, with the cuts representing almost a quarter of its total 520-strong Scottish workforce, and for Scotland, Unite said.
Responding to the news, Unite issued a statement branding it “a devastating blow”. “These are dark times for manufacturing jobs in Scotland and our crucial food manufacturing sector is particularly bearing the brunt of this ongoing decline,” said Unite industrial officer Tam Connarty.
“We’re constantly being told that an economic recovery is underway but I can tell you it’s not being felt by working people and their families in towns and communities across the likes of Lanarkshire.
‘Swimming against the tide’
“Unite will do everything we can to offset as many of these redundancies as we can but the fact is we are swimming against the tide on our own.”
Devro, which supplies collagen products, including sausage skins, to the food industry and employs 2,200 people worldwide, has confirmed that it is poised to enter a 45-day consultation on the proposal.
It said the move was part of a strategy to rationalise the company’s manufacturing base, discontinue less efficient technology and focus on the newest and most cost-effective means of production.
“Today’s announcement follows several months of careful consideration and detailed analysis of our manufacturing facilities around the world,” said chief executive Peter Page. “We have looked at all options.
“Many factors have influenced our thinking, most importantly trends in consumer demand, future growth prospects and how we can best take advantage of new opportunities in emerging markets.
‘Future of Devro’
“These are very difficult proposals to make but they are the right ones for the future of Devro. By taking this action now, we can maintain a competitive advantage and plan for a strong business based in Scotland, having invested over £30M here since 2008.”
Page said he realised the impact the changes would have on staff, their families and the community, and called all employees “valued colleagues”.
“We will ensure that their needs and concerns are listened to carefully during the consultation period and beyond,” he added. “We have written to everyone who may be affected today to outline the proposed changes and the comprehensive support package on offer to assist with planning for the future.”
The company aims to work with the Scottish government and Scottish Enterprise during the consultation to support all those affected.