STUNNED staff at a long-established Greenock plastics factory have been left devastated at the shock announcement of scores of job losses. 

Greenock Telegraph:

Bosses at Berry BPI called the workforce to an emergency meeting yesterday to tell them that manufacturing operations are to cease - with the loss of up to 65 jobs.

It is latest hammer blow to the Inverclyde economy following the decision by Amazon to shut its Gourock plant earlier this year and axe 300 jobs in the process.

As the shockwave reverberated yesterday, Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan described the news as 'devastating'.

Councillor Colin Jackson, who had been contacted by shattered constituents who face losing their jobs, called it 'awful news'.

Meanwhile, Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe immediately called for action from the Scottish Government.

MP Mr Cowan said: "This is a devastating blow and will come as a huge shock to the workforce.

"Berry has been a vital contributor to our local community for decades. They have continued to employ locally albeit under different names throughout that time.

"For this to happen during a cost-of-living crisis will make matters even worse.

"It will affect families across Inverclyde and beyond.

"The company is blaming a downturn in demand, and while I respect its right to make choices, however hard, there appeared to be no hint of such drastic action.

"I have previously visited the company and met with local management to discuss the future of the site, so it is hard to fathom how it has come to this.

"I would urge the company to make good on its promise to make sure that full re-deployment opportunities are put in place for the workforce."

Mr Cowan added: "My office has been in contact with the company and will continue to do so going forward.

"When Amazon closed in January there was a huge effort from various Inverclyde organisations, including my office, to match local employers to those being made redundant, and we will need a similar response now."

Councillor Colin Jackson said: "This is awful news for the workers and their families and everything now needs to be done to reverse this decision and to try and save as many jobs as possible.

"Inverclyde is losing jobs in manufacturing, warehousing and retail.

"This economic decline across all sectors is deeply worrying and is another severe blow to the local economy."

Council leader Mr McCabe says that he will now look to the Scottish Government and the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment to step in.

He said: "It is another jobs blow for Inverclyde coming so soon after the closure of Amazon.

"We look to the Scottish Government and PACE partners to work together to see what can be done to support the affected workers.

" This underlines the need for action to create jobs here.

The Tele understands talks are now underway between Berry BPI bosses and Unite.

Announcing the closure Berry BPI said: "The company has seen reduced demand from a number of its sectors at its site in Greenock, Renfrewshire.

"The site supplies a range of markets including construction, industrial packaging and healthcare.

"As a result, BPI has regrettably had to announce a number of possible redundancies, with up to 65 roles potentially affected.

"Along with its manufacturing facility, BPI operates a Financial Shared Service Centre and Head Office admin. from its Greenock site and these functions will be unaffected by these proposed changes.

"Redundancy consultation has begun with employee representatives and we will endeavour, where at all possible, to find suitable alternative employment for our employees either within or outside the Berry Group."