By Scott Wright

AROUND 60 workers employed by a US pharmaceutical giant in Scotland face losing their jobs after it cited Brexit in its decision to close plants in Riccarton and Tranent.

Trade union Unite vowed last night to fight the move by Charles River Laboratories to shut its biologics operations in Scotland.

Unite said the company is proposing to close the sites in stages over the next year, noting the company had cited Brexit as the decisive reason for taking the work outside the UK.

The Scottish sites support the manufacture and release to market of biopharmaceutical products.

Unite regional officer Graeme Turnbull said: “This is devasting news for the workforce based at Charles River Laboratories. Around 60 workers face losing their jobs over the next year in very challenging circumstances.

“The company is citing Brexit as being the decisive factor in this announcement rather than the Covid-19 pandemic so they have not listened to our pleas to furlough the workers.

“Unite will do all we can support the workforce through this difficult period.”