Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is planning to close its medical manufacturing plant in West Lothian, Scotland, potentially affecting around 400 jobs.
The company said it has now triggered a consultation process with regional and local works councils over its intent to close the manufacturing site in Livingston, which is run by subsidiary Ethicon.
"We have put forth these proposals in the interest of reducing complexity and increasing agility to better serve the needs of customers and patients in today's evolving healthcare marketplace,” the firm said in a statement.
"We carefully assessed our options and recognise our proposed plans have the potential to significantly affect our employees, their families and the local community”.
The move comes under a global restructuring plan unveiled in January last year, designed to accelerate the group’s pace of innovation, further prioritise key platforms and geographies, and streamline operations.
Commenting on the planned closure, Unite regional officer Derek Ormston said: "This is shocking news. Many of our members at Ethicon have given long years of service to the company and to be rewarded in this way will be heartbreaking.
“Ethicon has received public money to support its operations in Livingston so they have a special responsibility to the workers”.
"The UK Government has been working closely with Johnson & Johnson and the Scottish Government to find a solution that will protect as many jobs as possible,” secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell told Scottish broadcaster STV.