NICOLA Sturgeon has pledged the Scottish Government will help Amazon workers facing the loss of their jobs “where we can” after the online retail giant announced plans to shut a site in Gourock.

Bosses at Amazon have now launched a consultation over the closure of its fulfilment centre in Inverclyde along with centres in Hemel Hempstead and Doncaster in England.

About 1200 workers’ jobs will be impacted in total across the three sites including about 300 in Gourock, where the Amazon facility has been open for almost two decades.

The First Minister said the Scottish Government was hoping to talk to Amazon about “whether there are alternative ways forward that don’t involve job losses or as many job losses”.

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She said: “These are really difficult situations for communities involved and I know it will be a very, very stressful day for workers at Amazon who are very worried about their jobs and so the Government and our agencies will do everything we can to assist.

“I would hope Amazon would be responsible and recognise the commitment the company has had from that community. 

“I would always encourage companies to treat their workforce fairly and to recognise the commitment they get that help them make profits from workers.

“We will always work with companies to try to avoid or minimise the need for redundancy but, in any situation where redundancies are necessary or unavoidable, we will step in to help people find alternative employment where we can.”

Amazon has already said that all workers at the affected locations will be offered roles elsewhere in the company but has acknowledged there may be "limited" opportunities in Scotland.

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GMB union organiser, Steve Garelick, said the announcement was “a real kick in the teeth for Amazon staff who worked themselves into the ground during the festive rush”.

Local MSP Stuart McMillan said the news had come as a “huge shock”.

The Greenock and Inverclyde MSP added: “It’s never a good time to be facing redundancy but in the current financial climate, it’ll be an even bigger blow to the workforce.”

The SNP MSP said his office was seeking an “urgent meeting with Amazon to discuss their plans for the site”.

An Amazon spokesman said the company was “always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers".