Staff axed on Christ­mas Eve ...And fac­tory bosses tell them they won’t get paid

West Lothian Courier - - Front Page - SEAN O’NEIL

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.

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