Fresh blows to manufacturing
Wednesday 30 September 1998
Viasystems of the US was attacked by local MPs for "betrayal of the workforce" after announcing that its computer component factories in Galashiels and Selkirk in the Scottish borders are to close with 950 job losses.
Meanwhile, BMW, the parent company of Rover, warned of more cutbacks following the 1,500 job losses announced in July. Speaking on the opening day of the Paris Motor Show, BMW's chairman, Bernd Pischetsrieder, said further action would have to be taken if the current downturn continued and the pound remained strong.
"What they [the cutbacks] will be is being discussed with workers and unions, but I expect it will go beyond what we have already announced," said Mr Pischestsrieder.
BMW has already put the Longbridge plant on a four-day week and announced plans to switch pounds 1bn worth of component purchasing abroad.
Hepworth, the maker of Glow-Worm boilers, added to the gloom by warning of a further 200 redundancies on top of the 500 jobs it has already shed in the UK and continental Europe in the past year.
There are fears that Rover may suffer losses of up to pounds 500m this year because of the strong pound, but a spokesman rebuffed suggestions that this could threaten BMW's investment programme for Rover, currently pounds 600m a year.
The Viasystems closures were attacked by the Scottish Industry Minister Gus MacDonald who said the company had made up its mind to shut the plants and was not interested in offers of assistance.
Liberal Democrat MPs for the Borders region, Archy Kirkwood and Michael Moore, said the workforce had been cheated and called for a public inquiry into funding made available for Viasystems elsewhere in the UK. It also owns a plant in the north-east.
The Hepworth job losses will reduce the workforce by 10 per cent to about 6,300 people. More than 60 per cent of Hepworth's staff work in the UK, with the rest in continental Europe. The redundancies are part of the group's efforts to buck tough market conditions by cutting costs and improving efficiencies.
Outlook, page 17
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...