First Minister Alex Salmond has said he is ready to help any of his constituents hit by sweeping redundancies at a Turriff-based stationery firm.
Bosses at Pelikan Hardcopy Scotland Ltd (PHS) informed staff that their jobs are under threat earlier this week.
About a third of the 83-strong workforce are facing the prospect of redundancy as the firm struggles to stay afloat.
Unite union has entered into discussions with PHS management, and now the First Minister has offered his backing to workers in his Aberdeenshire East constituency.
Last night Mr Salmond said: “I stand ready to assist any constituents who may be affected and will be engaging with the company and union representatives to minimise the impact of any restructuring.”
The Press and Journal understands several senior politicians are now involved in behind the scenes efforts to safeguard PHS jobs.
Bosses have been reluctant to comment on the company’s finances or the prospect of lay-offs, but one worker said the firm has struggled to adapt to changing times.
Speaking outside the Markethill Street factory, the man said he and his colleagues were resigned to the business’s fate.
“The problem is the company haven’t kept up with the times,” he said.
“We still make carbon paper. We still make typewriter ribbon. When was the last typewriter made – 1969?”
The factory – which produces thermal transfer film products w allow material to be glued to paper by melting a coating of ribbon – is no stranger to job cuts.
In 2002, 80 jobs were slashed after PHS reported a decline in revenue from its traditional typewriter and printer ribbons.
In 2012 it was revealed that the stationary firm had been hit by a 13% drop in revenue between 2010 to 2011.
Takings fell from £10.57million to £9.23million. PHS also reported a widening of its pension scheme deficit, from £7.42million to £8.84million.
The Markethill Road plant was opened in 1967 and is described as a “centre of excellence” on PHS’s website. Research, development, ink production, commercial coating and international distribution are all carried out at the site.
PHS is owned by Malaysian conglomerate Pelikan International Corporation, a leading company in the worldwide stationery market.