Union slams company for 'disgusting and underhand' treatment of workers after shutting Livingston factory

API Foils shut on Friday 31 January with more than 100 jobs at risk.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 9:58 pm
The API Foils factory in Livingston which shut on Friday (Photo: TSPL)

Unite the union have blasted the decision to shut a factory in Livingston and inform workers of the administration of API Foils via a press release as "disgusting and underhand".

API Foils' parent company the US-based Steel Partner Holdings issued a press release to the New York Stock Exchange on Friday 31 January stating the company was entering administration.

The closure of the factory's gates in Livingston has left 107 employees redundant, with Unite calling for the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council to work with the company to find an alternative buyer.

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The API Foils factory in Livingston which shut on Friday (Photo: TSPL)

However the Livingston-based company which manufactures speciality foils and packaging material employs a total of 135 people.

'Disgusting and underhand'

Unite's deputy Scottish secretary, Mary Alexander, added workers had been left in a "state of shock and anxiety" following the job losses.

She said: “To find out the news that the company was going into administration via a press release to the New York Stock Exchange is a disgusting and underhand way to treat these workers.

The API Foils factory in Livingston which shut on Friday (Photo: TSPL)

"This announcement is all the more shocking as our members have told us that the plant was busy and they had won an order for labelling prosecco worth £2 million just before Christmas.

“It’s essential that the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council along with other agencies meet with API Foils management immediately to seek an alternative buyer to save the factory and the livelihoods of hardworking people.

“These workers have been left in a state of shock and anxiety that their jobs could go overnight and without any warning. Unite will work tirelessly to do all we can to support our members through this difficult and anxious time.”

'Significant adverse change'

The API Foils factory in Livingston which shut on Friday (Photo: TSPL)

The closure of the factory is part of a wider administration of the API Group which includes API Foils and API Laminates - with EY expected to be appointed as administrators - which could lead to the liquidation or the sale of assets within the API Group.

Bill Fejes, Steel Partners' chief operating officer said the move was part of a reaction to "significant adverse change".

He said: "As previously disclosed, since early 2019, we have been working with the API Group businesses to assist in managing significant adverse change within their industries and the loss of major customers.

“Importantly, we expect that all our other business units will continue to operate as normal and will not be adversely impacted by the transition of the API Group.”