A Fife town has been rocked with the loss of 83 jobs after the confirmation that a leading electronics manufacturer is to close.
Micronas Ltd, which produces sensors for the automotive industry at its factory in Southfield Industrial Estate in Glenrothes, is to close in April.
It comes following a decision made by European bosses at its parent company TDK-Micronas in Germany.
The site opened in Glenrothes in 1994.
The former Swiss-owned Micronas Ltd was sold to the Japanese electronics manufacturer TDK for £150 million in June 2016.
A spokesman for Micronas Ltd confirmed that all staff have been informed of the imminent closure and a process of consultation has begun with employees.
He added that the decision had been taken by bosses of the parent company in Germany as part of a restructuring process and was “in no way linked to either Brexit or the ongoing coronavirus pandemic”.
It is not clear at this stage whether any of the Glenrothes workforce will be redeployed elsewhere within the company following the closure.
“The decision has been made by our German based parent company and all staff at the Glenrothes site have now been informed,” the spokesman said.
“We will now enter into a formal consultation process, as is the legal requirement, to support all employees at this time and going forward.
“That process will run from now until April or even longer and will include all 83 employees at the Glenrothes site.”
‘Huge shock’ says worker
One Micronas worker, who asked not to be named, said the announcement had come as a “huge shock” and was without warning.
They added: “People are obviously devastated. It’s come at the worst time possible given the situation with the pandemic.
“It’s a skilled workforce so everyone is hoping there will be jobs out there but given the obvious uncertainties most people are very worried for their families and their livelihoods.”
Demand for ‘full and open explanation’
Glenrothes and Central Fife SNP MP Peter Grant described the announcement as a “huge blow” for the workers and their families as well as for the town.
He added: “Less than two years ago the directors of the company were predicting a bright future for the Glenrothes plant with further investment being planned and work actually being transferred here from Germany.
“Suddenly the workers are told exactly the opposite is happening.
“I have contacted the parent company in Germany to ask what has gone wrong.
“I hope they will give as full and open an explanation as possible to the workers who have consistently delivered healthy profits to the company’s owners and who now face unemployment through no fault of their own.”
Glenrothes Labour Councillor Altany Craik added: “The news is a devastating situation for employees and their families and my thoughts are with all those affected.
“Fife Council will do all it can to support employees through PACE, the Scottish Government’s national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations, at what will be a worrying time for all involved.”