HR helps secure jobs at threatened Motorola site

HR has played a lead role in securing 2,400 jobs at Motorola’s East Kilbride
plant in Scotland.

The jobs at the semiconductor plant had been under threat after Motorola
announced plans last year to cut 9,400 jobs from its global workforce.

But last week the decision was taken to expand the site and turn it into
Motorola’s global centre for manufacturing control system components for the
motor industry.

Fionnuala Barrie, HR director for Motorola semiconductor products, said the
contract was just reward for a two-year plan to make the site more competitive.

She said her department had worked closely with staff to change shift
patterns to become more efficient.

Barrie said: "We recognised the industry was being increasingly driven
by cost and put a lot of emphasis on cost reduction.

"HR worked with the rest of the business to analyse the effectiveness
of the shift patterns and overall labour costs."

To win the contract, East Kilbride fought off stiff competition from the US
and the Far East.

Barrie added: "The expansion has largely been based on the high
performance and capability of the staff."

Effective communication has been important to ensure changes could be
introduced with everybody on board.

Barrie said: "We have always been honest about what needs to be done
and an open culture has been established over time.

"I think in our case it is down to the talent base we have and our
ability to execute operations to requirement. But HR can’t take the credit as
the business as a whole has pulled together."

Barrie said staff at the plant, who have traditionally manufactured
semiconductors for the components that run airbags and braking systems, will
need training to prepare them for the new contract.

By Phil Boucher

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