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Livingston closure causes 'near riot'

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Workers at EDS's Livingston facility have known for some months that they were losing their jobs but that didn't stop a "near riot" breaking out when they were told the terms and conditions of their redundancy.

A source told El Reg that EDS staff received their redundancy quotations on Friday and feelings ran so high that security staff evacuated and closed the building to safeguard managers.

The problem centres on different payments offered to standard EDS staff and ex-civil servants employed by EDS on TUPE conditions. EDS standard staff can expect payments of between £12,000 and £16,000 for 16 years service. But staff employed under TUPE could expect a payment of £90,000 for the same period.

Our mole at the West Lothian building told El Reg: "We together with our union reps intend taking EDS to court for some parity on these unfair equations, failing that we intend to raise a civil court action against them. We don't expect nor want the full £90k plus our Ex-civil servants colleagues benefit from but just some parity with shift disturbance bonuses etc, which would barely amount to £3-5k per head."

The mole described the existing offer as "insulting and embarrassing".

EDS said in a statement: "On Wednesday May 11th 2005 an announcement was made regarding the proposed closure of the Livingston print centre. Following this announcement, an extensive consultation with employees, their trade union and other representatives has now been completed.

"Individual redundancy packages will vary depending upon the specific circumstances of the employee concerned.

"We appreciate this closure is disappointing for those involved, and our ongoing priority is to support all employees and their families following this announcement."

EDS did not comment on whether there had indeed been a "near riot" at the Livingstone site.

Jim Hanson, a national officer in the commerce sector of the Professional and Commercial Services Union, said: "It is true that there is a wide disparity - partly due to the work of public sector unions in the first place." He said the union had not been approached about legal action but would consider it.®

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