Kaiam boss accused of '˜unspeakable act of cowardice' as Livingston workers not paid Christmas wage

The boss of a West Lothian computer factory has been accused of an 'unspeakable act of cowardice' as it emerged its 300 workers would not be paid a Christmas wage.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 2:58 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 3:01 pm
The KAIAM site in Livingston.

SNP Livingston MP Hannah Bardell posted a video on social media this afternoon in which she said it appeared the CEO, Bardia Pezeshki, had been to see staff the day before the announcement.

She added: “He said nothing, then in an unspeakable act of cowardice flew home to the US as staff were being told they wouldn’t paid before Xmas.”

Ms Bardell also sais she had tried to get in to Kaiam but that no one was available.

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Staff at the optical components manufacturer were told their pay had been delayed because of cash flow problems.

The usual pay date is December 27th but this had been brought forward to the 21st because of Christmas. However, one employee told the BBC that bosses say they don’t even know if it will be paid on the 27th.

It is understood workers have also been told to stay away from the plant.

Local politicians and councillors have also hit out at the uncertainty over workers’ jobs.

The leader of West Lothian Council, Lawrence Fitzpatrick, said: “We are seeking clarification from the company with regards to what their immediate plans are for the plant in Livingston. However there is a lack of clear information and there are a number of unanswered questions.

“Clearly the situation is deeply concerning for Kaiam employees and their families. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“We understand that staff have not been paid, as yet, this month. That is obviously devastating news, especially so at this time of year.

“We’re working with our partners including Scottish Enterprise and will continue to closely monitor the situation.

“Kaiam has a long history in West Lothian, with the fabrication plant originally built by Kymata in the 1990s, before being sold to Gemfire then Kaiam. This announcement comes as a shock to everyone, and will be a huge blow for those affected.”

Kaiam, headquartered in the United States, manufactures parts used in the technology that allows data to be sent at high speeds between multiple servers in data centres.

In 2014 the firm was given a £850,000 Scottish Enterprise grant to relocate some of its production from a site in China to Livingston.

Lothians Labour MSP Neil Findlay has also expressed his concerns about the news.

Scottish Enterprise said they are working closely with KAIAM. the council and Skills Development Scotland to fins a solution.

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