Doosan Babcock moves to scotch Grangemouth redundancies claims

Economy Secretary  Keith Brown.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown.

Doosan Babcock has broken its weekend silence over redundancy fears at Grangemouth by stressing it won’t be axeing hundreds of local jobs.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard and the GMB union had both slated the Scottish Government for failing to do more to avert what was seen as a significant employment blow.

But earlier media reports described by Doosan Babcock as “misleading” were followed yesterday by a statement on Twitter (reported in the Falkirk Herald online) by Holyrood’s economy secretary Keith Brown.

He had sought an urgent meeting with the firm over earlier claims, and later wrote: “Having spoken to Doosan Babcock, I’m advised that around 300 of the 350 jobs R Leonard claims face redundancy have not yet even been recruited for.

“These are service related contract jobs for work starting later this year.

“DB advise this claim is ‘unsettling and disappointing’.”

After a weekend of uncertainty the firm has today given its explanation of the true situation at Grangemouth and Levenseat in Lanarkshire.

It said: “The varied work undertaken by the company involves both routine repair and maintenance which is largely covered by its core workforce and short-term project work, such as the work undertaken at Levenseat and a forthcoming project at Grangemouth, which requires additional skilled individuals to be recruited on a short-term basis.

“This arrangement is typical of our industry and all parties – the company, the short-term workers and the trade unions - are fully aware of these arrangements.”

It added: “The forthcoming project at Grangemouth will offer employment to individuals not currently employed by Doosan Babcock at Grangemouth and they will be engaged from mid April 2018 for the project.

“When such a project is approaching an end, the company assesses its workload across its UK portfolio to try to source opportunities for workers to move to other projects where these are available.”

However meanwhile the firm has announced it’s to begin a consultation process with staff across the UK on the potential for “up to” 120 job losses, as part of a restructuring operation.

It says most positions affected are in management and back office support services and will be primarily spread across the firm’s main UK facilities.

The company employs more than 5,000 people and specialises in providing engineering, after market and upgrade services to the power generation, oil and gas, petrochemical and process sectors.