It appears the axe has fallen on 24 Harris jobs this week as the global company GSH Group tells staff in the Tarbert office it will close.
The move will be the equivalent of the loss of 17,500 jobs in Glasgow; and is a devastating blow in an already fragile island area.
A spokesperson for the global facilities and energy management company would not confirm the Harris base closure but stated: “We are continuing with one-to-one consultations with staff. There is no further comment.”
However a source close to the situation said staff had been told on Tuesday (July 29th) that ‘in a matter of weeks’ the office would be shut.
It is believed that local employees submitted a counter proposal, highlighting where savings could be achieved and outlining ‘very real risks’ to the company in closing the Tarbert office – which GSH announced as the central hub of its world-wide business in 2009.
“It didn’t really come as a surprise to hear that the office was closing, as this has clearly been the agenda since they first went out on consultation,” said the source.
“Most people are now just ready to leave, and feel they have been betrayed by a company that they worked hard for.”
They added: “Despite highlighting the risks to the company if the skill-set in Tarbert was removed, the powers that be have seen fit to close regardless.”
See this week’s Stornoway Gazette, out today, for more.