Hundreds of jobs to go at electronics plant in Greenock
Hundreds of jobs are set to be lost after Texas Instruments (TI) announced a phased closure of its electronics plant in Greenock, Inverclyde.
The global semiconductor company said it planned to move production to "more cost-effective" sites in Germany, Japan and the US over the next three years.
It does not expect any job losses before late 2017.
The Scottish government said it would "work closely" with TI to help secure a long-term future for the Greenock site.
About 365 people currently work at the Greenock facility.
The jobs affected will be in manufacturing, engineering, support and management.
In a statement, TI said the decision had been taken with its global operations in mind.
'Far less efficient'
The company stated: "Our employees have done everything they can to keep the site cost-competitive, and we strongly considered ways to improve the site's efficiency, such as upgrading or expanding the facility.
"However, even with a considerable investment, TI's factory in Greenock would be far less efficient than our other larger, more efficient fabs (fabrication plants), which have open capacity available to absorb what's produced in Greenock.
"As part of this process, we are attempting to sell and transfer the facility as an on-going manufacturing operation (manufacturing related jobs, equipment, land and building).
"We have contracted with Atreg, a company that specializes in selling manufacturing properties, to help us with this.
"We are just at the proposal stage, and ending manufacturing operations is a lengthy process.
"If the plant closes, we expect it to take our Greenock employees as long as three years to transfer production to our other sites in Freising, Germany, Aizu, Japan and S. Portland Maine.
"We do not anticipate any job losses associated with the factory to happen any sooner than late 2017.
TI Scotland site manager Gerry McCarthy added: "Decisions like this are never easy, and we don't make them lightly.
"While the rationale for moving production out of our Greenock fab makes good business sense, we understand the impact it could have on our employees and the community.
"This is certainly not a reflection of the performance or commitment of our people but due to the efficiency of the site itself.
"We recognize this is difficult news, and our focus right now is on our employees and to ensure they have all of the information they need as we move forward."
Scotland's Business Minister Fergus Ewing said he was "disappointed" at the news.
He said: "This is a blow to the local community and will be a very anxious time for employees and their families.
"The Scottish government has been in touch with Texas Instruments and we will continue to work closely with the company to do all we can to secure a long-term future for the 365 jobs and manufacturing at the site.
"In addition, Scottish Enterprise is seeking an urgent meeting with local management.
"Should any redundancies proceed, the Scottish government's PACE initiative stands ready to support any affected employees.
"Through providing skills development and employability support, PACE aims to minimise the time that individuals affected by redundancy are out of work."
Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe described the move as "a stunning blow" to the Scottish economy.
He said: "This announcement requires a significant response from local and national agencies.
"I am announcing the setting up of a dedicated task force and will be extending an invitation today to the Scottish government, their national agencies, local councillors in the area, our regional and constituency MSPs and our MP.
"It is time to once again stand shoulder to shoulder, as we did over the highly-successful Fergusons task force, and secure a future for this skilled workforce.
"We must also work together to ensure that national resource makes its way to Greenock to achieve that endeavour.
"I will also be seeking an urgent meeting with top level management at Texas Instruments."