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Scottish minister slams Compaq ‘misleading’ job cut toll

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Should companies include temporary staff and contractors in their headcount when they announce redundancies?

George Foulkes, the minister of state for Scotland, thinks so; he was relieved that his constituency had escaped the Compaq's round of job cuts when the firm announced last week that 700 employees at its Erskine plant, Scotland were due for the chop.

But the following day the phone started ringing - another 160 jobs were going at Compaq's plant in Ayr, Foulkes' constituency, he was told.

Foulkes called Compaq, which told him that it was cutting no jobs at the plant, but when pressed, confirmed that 160 contractors hired through Manpower were being laid off.

He told Compaq that "the public would see this as exactly the same as if they were company employees. Technically, they were correct but it was a very misleading statement", he said, in an interview with Electronics Times.

He appears to be supported by other Ayr politicians, who say Compaq made them look stupid by keeping quiet about the temporary job losses, The Ayrshire Post reports. ®

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