Lord Foulkes emphasized the importance of preserving jobs for the 500 skilled workers in West Lothian. He mentioned that a management buyout or a takeover by another company were discussed as potential options with John Swinney. Scottish Enterprise will be examining these options, and Lord Foulkes plans to urge John Swinney to prioritize saving these jobs, just as the Scottish Government did in Kilmarnock.
On the other hand, Angela Constance, the Nationalist Livingston MSP, stated that the company has assured her that it will repay any public money it has received in the past. She also expressed determination among those involved in the Livingston economy to support the employees facing unemployment and explore all alternatives for their future in Livingston.
In related news, Diageo confirmed the closure of its Johnnie Walker bottling plant, resulting in the loss of 700 jobs. First Minister Alex Salmond participated in a march with 20,000 people in Ayrshire last month to protest this decision.
Lord Foulkes plans to visit the Bausch and Lomb workforce, and both Labour MSPs will request another meeting with John Swinney next week to discuss progress. The closure of the Livingston factory will be phased over the next year and into 2011, with the relocation of “highly automated” lines bringing 30 jobs to Rochester but none to Waterford.