Scotland politicians demand answers from Oceaneering about labor changes

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Oceaneering Rosyth

ROSYTH, SCOTLAND — MSP John Park has called for the Scottish Government to help workers facing redundancy at Rosyth’s Oceaneering Multiflex.

The Labour economy and skills spokesman would like to see a scheme in Wales aiding employees on short-time work being introduced in Scotland.

He made the point in a letter to Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney and has also raised concerns over the Rosyth workforce with the firm’s US bosses.

Workers at the subsea cabling firm have been working substantially reduced hours this year in a bid to safeguard jobs but have now been told there will be 71 redundancies, around a quarter of the workforce.

The strength of feeling was reflected in more than 160 comments on the redundancy story on the Press website, www.dunfermlinepress.com.

Many vented their frustration at allegedly being kept in the dark by management and MP Willie Rennie has called for the management to explain what is going on at Rosyth.

Mr Park said, “We have seen the success of a subsidy scheme for companies in short-time working in Wales and I want the Scottish Government to introduce something similar here in Scotland.

“The SNP said they would look into it but have so far failed to act. I am worried that there are many more companies out there on short-time working who will be forced to make redundancies if we don’t provide businesses and their employees with immediate support.

“As promised I have written to Oceaneering’s management, not just in Rosyth but at their international headquarters in the US as well and am keeping in close contact with the union about the proposed redundancies.

“We have a productive workforce at Rosyth and it would be short-sighted of Oceaneering, which is a profitable multi-national company, to lose such highly skilled employees.”

In his letter to T Jay Collins, president and CEO of Oceaneering International in Houston, Mr Park wrote, “While I appreciate there is a global downturn, I am obviously concerned that a profitable company such as Oceaneering has felt it necessary to make employees redundant and was hoping that you would be able to provide the rationale behind the decision.”

Mr Park had originally made the call for subsidies to support companies on short-time working during a debate in the Scottish Parliament in May.

Lib Dem MP for Dunfermline and West Fife Willie Rennie said he was concerned by the deterioration in the relationship between management and workforce, as highlighted by the web comments.

“The outrage expressed by the workers was quite clear and I believe they deserve to be treated better,” said Mr Rennie.

“I have worked with Mark Cumming (general manager) in the past in his difficulties at Cemtron and Solectron and am available to help but have had no communication from him.

“I am concerned that the management appear to be adopting a say-nothing attitude and the workers clearly resent the way they have been treated. It’s quite depressing.

“Oceaneering has been a success story and can be again. It has a fine workforce and is ideally located but the management have to give some explanation of what’s happening.”

Previous related new items:  http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/roundup/articles/2009/08/27/391165-dismay-as-71-jobs-are-to-go-at-rosyth-firm/

www.dunfermlinepress.com

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