Staff axed on Christmas Eve ...And factory bosses tell them they won’t get paid
More than 300 employees at a technology factory in Livingston lost their jobs on Christmas Eve — and then were told they won’t get paid.
Workers at the Kaiam manufacturing plant heard the devastating news at a meeting on Monday, with 312 of the 338 staff being made redundant.
And in a further blow to the workforce, they were told they will not receive their outstanding wages and will have to go through the Insolvency Service to get their money, which could take weeks.
However, in true Christmas spiri t, the West Lothian community have rallied around the workers and raised nearly £20,000 for those affected.
Cross- party politicians condemned the actions of Kaiam and called into question the timing of the announcement.
Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for Lothian said: “It is outrageous what has happened to these workers. Now more than 300 families have been left with no wages at Christmas and no job for New Year.
“The behaviour of this
company has been a disgrace. There is rightfully a lot of anger amongst the workforce.”
Hannah Bardell, SNP MP for Livingston, said: “This is horrific news for the staff and their families so close to Christmas. It would appear the company have been struggling for many months and to leave it until just before Christmas and potentially leave people without a pay packet is outrageous.”
Miles Briggs, Conservative MSP for Lothian, said: “Everyone’ s priority must be to support the employees and look to future employment opportunities.”
West Lothian Council have set up a special help centre at Bathgate Partnership Centre for those who need financial and employment advice.
Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “It is truly appalling for Kaiam staff to find out they are losing their jobs and they will not receive their outstanding wages on Christmas Eve.
“We’re working with our partners including Scottish Enterprise and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Blair Nimmo, joint administrator at KPMG, said Kaiam had faced challenging trading conditions.
He said: “Despite the action of the directors to try to increase sales and attract new investment, the business entered administration.
“We are exploring a sale of the business and are working with Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and West Lothian Council to provide a full range of support to the company’s employees as this process takes place.”
The West Lothian community came out in strong support of the Kaiam workforce, rasing nearly £ 20,000, and volunteers have established the Kaiam Community Hub at Livingston Station Community Centre for donations.
Councillor Fitzpatrick said: “It’s heart-warming to see the community rallying around to support Kaiam staff and their families affected by this devastating news.”
To help the Kaiam workers visit www.justgiving.com/ crowd fu nd ing/mhairi- duff.