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Jobs saved as Laing O'Rourke abandons Bison lay-offs

More than 50 jobs could be saved after Laing O’Rourke reversed a decision to close its Bison concrete factory in Scotland.

A counter-proposal appears to have been accepted and the facility will be kept open, albeit with a reduced workforce.

There were also 70 jobs at risk at a second Bison factory in Derbyshire after the contractor proposed to reduce shift patterns and merge some positions with its pre-assembly facility.

However, the initial plan to put 70 people at Bison Swadlincote at risk of redundancy has now been revised to 30.

H&V News understands a meeting is due to take place this morning to ratify these decisions.

A Laing O’Rourke spokesman said: “Through consultation with our workforce and by speaking with our supply chain, we have been able to identify a series of measures to enhance efficiency and create a viable future plan for Bison.

“Consequently, at Bison Uddingston, rather than closing the facility, the plan is to keep it open but with a reduced workforce.

“Collective consultation at Uddingston is continuing to agree how many people are required within a reduced workforce.”

Collective consultation at Swadlincote has ended and individual consultation will now start, said the firm.

Commenting on the revised plan for 30 redundancies instead of 70, it added: “We are pleased that this alternative proposal can be taken forward and the consultation process to effect these changes will occur quickly, with minimal disruption.

“Of course, we will continue to provide full support to all employees during this difficult period.”

Laing O’Rourke saved the Scottish factory in a takeover in 2008, leading a consortium that struck a last minute deal for Bison when it fell into administration.

The contractor rescued two Bison sites safeguarding 450 jobs, although the deal did not include a Leeds factory.

The Swadlincote factory was also taken on by Laing O’Rourke as a result of the deal.

Laing O’Rourke has its own manufacturing and preassembly at the Explore Industrial Park, Steetley, Nottinghamshire, using its ‘Design for Manufacture and Assembly’ strategy.

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