Staff consultation as Weatherford to close

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An Arbroath firm which announced it was closing last week is to relocated around half of its workforce and retain its apprentices.

On Friday staff at Weatherford Limited’s Arbroath facility were given the news that their plant was to close and they were to enter into a consultation exercise.

Weatherford Limited made the following statement: “Following an extensive review of its global operations, Weatherford has proposed to further consolidate its UK manufacturing facilities, and will subsequently engage in a consultation exercise with employees at its Arbroath location.

“The global oil and gas sector has faced a prolonged period of challenging business conditions. In light of this, Weatherford has conducted a strategic review of the global manufacturing group to ensure that the cost structure and capacity is appropriate to the current and projected market environment.

“The outcome of this strategic review is the proposed closure of the Arbroath facility. Weatherford is, however, actively engaged in developing plans that are anticipated to create opportunities for the transfer of positions and plant and equipment to the main operational hub in Aberdeen. Prior to taking action on the proposed changes, the company will engage in a consultation exercise with elected representatives of those who may be affected.”

Graeme Dey, MSP for South Angus, has been in discussions with the company and said: “The decision reached by Weatherford, whilst mirroring actions taken elsewhere globally by the company and indeed others in the sector, is clearly disappointing both for the employees and their families and the local economy.

“We were all relieved just a year ago when the firm committed to consolidating operations in Arbroath after closing a plant elsewhere in the UK.

“But sadly the recovery in the North Sea oil and gas sector has not come at the pace that was hoped for and a decision has now been taken to close Arbroath within a few months and move some of the posts to Aberdeen.

“From discussions I and Mike Weir MP have had with the firm it seems that around half of the 46 people employed in Angus will potentially have the chance to work in Aberdeen.

“That, albeit it’ll involve a considerable daily commute for those concerned, coupled with the fact the four apprentices who work in Arbroath are to be retained and continue their training at the local Angus Training Group, is obviously a positive.

“But the loss of the other jobs and indeed the presence of the company within the town is a blow. There is no doubt about that, especially coming as this does on the back of previous closures and job losses in the engineering sector locally.”