UK electricity and gas provider ScottishPower has announced a series of redundancies as part of a restructuring following the disposal of its US arm PacifiCorp. The company is looking for voluntary job cuts to be implemented over the next 18 months.

The utility insists that front line staff are to be largely unaffected by the move, and that it intends to do everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies. Some 270 jobs will go in Scotland, with the remainder coming from the rest of the UK.

ScottishPower claims it will save GBP60 million per annum as a result of the restructuring. The company says the moves are a necessity given that the disposal of PacifiCorp makes it a far leaner organization with a much smaller revenue stream.

However trade union representatives reacted critically to the news of ScottishPower’s plans. Dave Watson of Unison told the press: Clearly we are very concerned about the announcement and we need some explanation about how these job cuts fit in with the recent sale of ScottishPower’s business in the United States.