AROUND 130 employees of sausage skin manufacturer Devro are expected to lose their jobs in a cost-cutting measure, three months after the company decided to invest £50 million in a manufacturing plant in China.

Devro has told employees at its bases in Moodiesburn and Bellshill that it will enter a 45-day consultation period over the redundancies - equivalent to one in four of its Scottish workforce.

The plants currently employ around 520 people between them.

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It comes three months after the Moodiesburn-based firm said it intended to build a new plant at Nantong, near Shanghai, to be in operation by the end of 2015. In November last year, Devro said it was to invest a further £40m on a new manufacturing plant in the US which is expected to slash production costs from 2016.

The union Unite said it was a "devastating blow" and follows a "recent trend of deep cuts and closures" across Scotland's food manufacturing base. They included 1,700 jobs lost at Vion's Hall's of Broxburn plant in West Lothian in 2012 and 200 posts at the 2 Sisters chicken-processing plant in Coupar Angus, Perthshire last year.

Devro, which makes collagen casings for sausage products, said the redundancy plans were part of a long-term plan to modernise and streamline the company's manufacturing base.