Friday, January 12, 2007

Shocking Parochial News

NCR jobs bombshell

NCR today dealt Dundee a devastating jobs blow, with 650 posts being axed from its manufacturing plant at Wester Gourdie. Amid anger and tears, staff were told at a mass meeting that what was once a city industrial giant will, by the summer, be reduced to a skeleton operation of around 100.

Swingeing cuts had been expected in light of increasing competition for work from the company’s factory in Hungary, where costs are lower.

But employees streaming out the gates of the factory after today’s announcement said they were stunned at the extent of the redundancies, announced via video-link from America.

Said one, “We knew it was going to be bad, but 650 jobs is a shock. People are very upset, very angry. What do we do now?”

NCR Corporation said in a statement it plans to shift the focus of its automatic teller machine manufacturing in Dundee to “new product introduction and production of low volume, high complexity products.”

The company cited a changing market environment and competitive pressures for the decision to cease high-volume manufacture of ATM products in the city.

Management said they anticipated that current manufacturing-related positions in Dundee will be reduced by approximately by 650 by mid 2007 — a proposal subject to consultation with unions.

Controversially, given recent assurances to the contrary, the company confirmed the work will be shifted to the plant at Budapest, as well as Beijing and India.

After more than 60 years NCR shafts it's Dundee workforce so it can outsource the labour to Hungary and China and no doubt increase shareholder confidence. In the 1980's both Reagan and Thatcher talked about how loyalty to corporations would result in their loyalty to the workforce and a lot of people believed their lies. Since then we've had Timex leave Dundee and more recently Tesco and and Michelin cut jobs across the board and the same thing is happening all across the country normally in already deprived areas. For a small city with high unemployement like Dundee the loss of 650 jobs can be crippling for the local economy.

Workers gutted.

Reacting to the devastating news Fintry man George Devlin (42) emerged from the meeting a broken man. He said emotions were running high inside the NCR plant.

“They never even told anybody who’s going, they just said 650 will go by the middle of the year. They just told us it is in the hands of the union.

“Inside it is just total anger and disgust at the management.

“Last year they told us a big pack of lies.

“They said the Hungary plant was never going to affect the Dundee plant.

“I believe Hungary without a doubt has affected us.

“I think there has been one factory in Canada closed, one in Brazil and one somewhere else I can’t remember. They seemed just to be keeping places where they can get cheap labour.”

Mr Devlin, the father of three young children, said he was so disgusted with the news he walked out before the meeting ended.

“I walked out because I didn’t want to listen to it any more.

“The head man wasn’t even there, he was on a video ‘I cant be there’ blah, blah blah.

“Inside the meeting they were not answering questions, it was just a big shouting match.

“There are women in there crying one of whom has been there 36 years. She couldn’t even speak on the microphone: she was so upset she couldn’t even talk.

“I have only been there two-and-a-half years, but I feel really sorry for people who have been there a lot longer.

“It does look bleak for me now. There’s talk on Michelin going down the same road. I don’t have a clue what’s coming for me now.

“I think we will get compensation of some sort but it does not make up for not having a job.”

Asked what the future now held for him, he said, “It’s bleak, very bleak.”

Kevin McKenzie said, “My wife doesn’t have a job and it looks like I’ll not have one either after this.”

Scott McIntosh from Hilltown, a test technician, said, “They’ve not got a care about the working person — they’re only interested in the bottom line and more money for the shareholders.

“It is sad for the workforce and sad for the people with young families.”

Charleston man Derek Shaw (49) said, “I hope they stay in Dundee at least in some form.”

Peter Gow (62), of Ardler, said before the meeting, “Over the last few months the speculation has been detrimental to the whole workforce regarding the status of the company here.

“Last year promises the company made that Hungary would not be detrimental here look questionable today.

“I feel in the long term there is going to be a reduction (in production) of some form.

“We can only hope the outcome today is not as drastic as we may fear.”

Frances Tanbini (63), of Dundee, said she would not be substantially affected given her age, but added, “I do feel sorry for younger members of the workforce.”

But all of that's okay as long as the shareholders are happy. Makes me sick!

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