Job cuts at Grangemouth timber firm

A total of 44 jobs could be axed at the Metsa Wood timber merchants in Grangemouth
A total of 44 jobs could be axed at the Metsa Wood timber merchants in Grangemouth

Union representatives are fighting to retain jobs at a local timber merchants after it was announced that 45 posts could be axed.

Metsa Wood, in Earl’s Road, Grangemouth, is reportedly making the cuts due to changes in the way business is operated and alleged financial difficulties after the firm lost a major contract.

John Kelly, GMB officer at the firm, said the announcement came as a complete surprise to staff.

He added: “We will be entering into consultation with management as soon as possible and hope through the course of talks we can arrive at voluntary redundancies and retain as many jobs as possible.”

It is believed the company is also looking to shed 30 jobs at its plant in Boston, Lincolnshire.

A Metsa Wood spokesman said: “Metsa Wood’s, part of Metsa Group, announced a cost savings programme on April 15. The aim of the programme is to ensure future competitiveness and profitability.

“As a part of this programme, a detailed review of all Metsa Wood UK Timber and upgrades business lines operations has been undertaken in order to ensure a sustainable and profitable business for the future.

“Metsa Wood is therefore proposing to reallocate elements of its operations between its Grangemouth and Boston units. This could result in a possible reduction of up to 45 jobs at the Grangemouth site and a possible reduction of up to 30 jobs at the Boston site.

“Grangemouth would remain a key distribution hub with specialist operational activities in order to maintain the levels of service and existing product portfolio for Scotland and the North.

“These proposed reductions are a part of the announced adaptation measures that all together could result in a reduction of up to 150 jobs in the UK. The company will fully and fairly consult with all affected employees with the intention that final decisions will be reached by the end of July 2013.”