Oil and gas company Baker Hughes has made a round of redundancies at its Montrose facility.
Workers finishing their nightshift yesterday were handed termination letters by company bosses, according to The Courier.
Then several workers arriving for the day shift were also told their employment would end and were sent home.
It is thought the total number of Angus redundancies is around 17 staff.
A spokesperson for Baker Hughes said: “We do not take these decisions lightly; they are always difficult.
“We make them with the utmost sensitivity to the impact on our employees, communities, and customers.”
Baker Hughes’ struggles during the pandemic
Baker Hughes is one of the largest employers in Angus. It has one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in Montrose after a £31m investment two years ago.
The creation of the subsea centre of excellence in 2019 led to it creating 160 Angus jobs. Its Angus workforce was around 600 staff.
The investment was supported by almost £5m from the Scottish Government thanks to a Scottish Enterprise grant.
However, like many firms in the sector, the company has been badly hit during the pandemic.
It described 2020 as “incredibly challenging” as it reported the year’s pre-tax loss of $15.2 billion in January.
Baker Hughes cut 15% of its workforce between March and November last year, with global headcount falling from 68,000 to 58,000.
‘Work dries up’
A worker at the Montrose plant said there was a drop in the amount of work for the Angus facility after next month.
“All projects have been cancelled or put on hold because of Covid,” the member of staff said.
“Work for us completely dries up after next month. This is totally out of the blue.
“We have been asking what’s happening after June for months.
“They just kept saying they didn’t know. This must have been planned for a while.”
Baker Hughes declined to confirm or explain the job cuts.
Subsea experts in Angus
Baker Hughes operates two sites in Montrose, at Charleton Road and Forties Industrial Estate on Brent Avenue.
The sites have pioneering state-of-the-art manufacturing processes such as virtual reality tools and industrial 3D printing.
This enables more efficient and innovative outcomes for the oil and gas industry.
The oilfield services company created a 4,000 sqm building and expanded a warehouse at its 35-acre Charleton Road site as part of the investment in 2019.
Four years ago, 36 jobs were axed from GE Oil and Gas before the company merged with Baker Hughes later that year.
In September 2019, GE announced it had sold some of its shares in Baker Hughes, losing its majority control in the company.
The Montrose site had a Covid outbreak earlier this year.