Shocked employees at Cemtron, a Fife electronics firm, were this week told to leave the factory immediately because they were being made redundant. Cemtron, based in Dalgety Bay, went into administration on Wednesday 8th October but workers were subsequently told there had been “an encouraging level of enquiries” from potential buyers. This now leaves 153 workers out of a job and is another blow for Fife after losing manufacturing companies Solectron and Lexmark in recent years.
Managers who had made the move from Solectron to Cemtron are keeping their positions but it is the shop floor workers who are being told they are no longer needed. They were called to a meeting on Tuesday 14th October and told they were being made redundant with immediate effect. This led to a range of feelings from shock to plain anger at the situation. The week between Cemtron going into administration and the redundancies announcement had been an uncertain one. Cemtron still has orders on its books and potential buyers were coming in to look at the site with more visits planned for the rest of the week. However, this was not enough to save long serving employee’s jobs.
Cemtron ran into difficulty when troubled bank HBOS withdrew an overdraft facility. The company had previously offered a sum of money to the bank in order to improve their overdraft situation but that was refused. There was also a plan to sell the land that Cemtron sits on and the proceeds from the sale would have been enough to relocate to the empty Lexmark site. This would also have been enough to pay off Cemtron’s debts but the move was blocked by Fife Council. However, head of development services, Keith Winter said, “Fife Council has been working closely with Cemtron for over a year to explore and assist with expansion opportunies for the company.”
Cemtron was founded in 2001 and has an annual turnover of £16 million and three sites in Fife as well as operations in Hong Kong. Last year Livingston based Component Sense, who distribute electronic components, offered Cemtron financial help but no agreement was reached between the two firms.