PRINTFIRM BOSSES AXE 730 SCOTS EMPLOYEES; FIRM WHO POCKETED pounds 12M OF TAXPAYERS' MONEY MOVE ABROAD Computer workers ditched as their jobs go to cheap labour.Byline: By Jack Mathieson
PRINT firm workers were thrown on the scrapheap last night as bosses axed 730 jobs in favour of cheap overseas labour.
American computer giant Lexmark said the cost of keeping their factory in Rosyth American where workers earn around pounds 2 an hour - was too expensive.
Instead, they opted to keep open factories in Mexico and the Philippines where the average worker's pay is less than 70p an hour.
The closure comes despite the fact that Lexmark received pounds 11.8million in public funding Public funding is money given from tax revenue or other governmental sources to an individual, organization, or entity. See also
Some warned that the Fife job losses would spread across Scotland.
Last night, economist Dr Eamon Butler, of the Adam Smith Institute The Adam Smith Institute is a think tank based in the United Kingdom, named after the father of modern economics, Adam Smith. Although non-partisan, it espouses free market and classical liberal views, in particular by creating radical policy options in the light of public choice , said: "We are losing jobs even in sectors of the economy which are growing. It does not augur augur: see omen. well for any jobs."
Devastated employees were told the news at a meeting yesterday lunchtime - then given the rest of the day off.
Pregnant Lyn Geddes, 26, who is expecting her first child in April, summed up the mood of the workers at the plant, which produces ink cartridges for printers.
She said: "People were too shocked to say anything. I am struggling to take in the news."
Plant general manager Alan Speirs added: "We truly regret the loss of jobs in this community.
"Lexmark employees worked hard to contribute to the company's succes over the past 10 years. Likewise, the community supported our business."
The shock news came less than 24 hours after Labour launched their campaign for the area's upcoming byelection, promising to "create jobs and prosperity in Dunfermline and West Fife".
The announcement left that campaign in tatters tat·ter 1
1. A torn and hanging piece of cloth; a shred.
2. tatters Torn and ragged clothing; rags.
tr. & intr.v. .
Last night, Lexmark said they would sit down with Scottish Enterprise Scottish Enterprise is the main national economic development agency of Scotland, the other being Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) carries out similar functions of economic development in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. officials to negotiate giving back some of the cash received from the public purse.
However, it is unlikely the cash return will amount to any more than pounds 500,000.
The company said: "Factor s April. The remainder of the redundancies will be completed by the end of the year.
Out of the 700 workers, 500 will go in April. The remainder of the redundancies will be completed by the end of the year.
During the 10-minute meeting, Lexmark announced 1500 job losses worldwide from their 12,000-strong workforce - almost half the redundancies coming from Scotland.
Assembly line worker Lyn, from Rosyth, is due to have her first baby on April 9.
She admitted the grim news would mean she and partner Vincent Ferrier, 29, faced "a struggle" to get by.
Lyn added: "People were too shocked to say anything - there was no shouting - but even now I amstruggling to take in the news.
"I have worked there for six years but I was due to go on maternity leave maternity leave n → baja por maternidad
maternity leave maternity n → congé m de maternité
maternity leave maternity n in March. Right now, I have no idea how that will be affected."
Dave Ritchie Dave Ritchie may refer to:
Mum-of-two Marie Irvine, 49, of Dunfermline, said: "I have got a bad back so I might find it difficult to get another job, but I ammore upset than angry."
Her pal, Nicola Mayne, 24, of Rosyth, said: "All we can do is hang on for as long as we can then look for another job."
Kentucky firmLexmark opened their first plant in Rosyth in 1996 with 200 workers. In 1999 a second plant was added.
The local enterprise company moved swiftly to set up a team to help axed workers.
Deputy First Minister and Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen Nicol Ross Stephen (born 23 March 1960) is leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeen South. He is a former Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. said: "This is extremely disappointing news.
"Our immediate intention is to ensure everything possible is put in place to assist those facing the prospect of losing their jobs."
Last night, multinational expert Professor James Taggart, of Glasgow University, said Lexmark's move left him feeling "depressed".
He said: "This is a grave signal for the Scottish economy. It is yet another wakeup call and the more of these we ignore, the worse position we will end up in."
A study by CBI CBI
cumulative book index
CBI Confederation of British Industry
CBI n abbr (= Confederation of British Industry) → C.E.O.E. Scotland yesterday claimed the country's manufacturing output started faltering at the end of 2005 after an encouraging year.
Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, said: "Conditions for manufacturers are getting increasingly tough as costs continue their seemingly inexorable rise but weak demand keeps prices down, squeezing already thin profit margins even further."
The latest job losses are a stark reminder of the Motorola fiasco five years ago.
Despite pounds 16million in public funding, bosses shut their Bathgate factory in West Lothian in 2001, putting more than 3000 workers on the dole.
ON THE SCRAPHEAP: The Lexmark factory in Fife is to be axed with the loss of 730 jobs' SIGN OF THE TIMES: Security guard outside the plant yesterday' GEORGE McLUSKIE' SHOCK AND ANGER: From the left, Lyn Geddes, Marie Irvine, Dave Ritchie and Nicola Mayne all lost their jobs at the Rosyth print plant