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5 July 2011, 08:15
More than 1,400 jobs are to be lost at Derby train making company, Bombardier.
The axing of posts follows the Government's decision to award a lucrative carriage order for the Thameslink route to Siemens of Germany rather than to Derby-based Bombardier.
The company said the job cuts would affect 446 permanent staff at Derby and 983 temporary staff.
Derby is now completing orders for metro cars for London Underground’s SubSurface Lines and Victoria Line and Turbostar diesel multiple units for London Midland. All but the SubSurface Lines contract will be complete by the end of September this year.
“The culmination and successful delivery of these projects and the loss of the Thameslink contract ,which would have secured workload at this site, means that it is inevitable that we must adjust capacity in line with economic reality,” said Francis Paonessa, President of the Passengers Division for the UK.
“We regret this outcome but without new orders we cannot maintain the current level of employment and activity at Derby” Francis Paonessa added. “Over the next 90 days together with employee representatives we will work with individual employees to ensure the best possible outcome for our people,”
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: ``It's a scandal that the Government are colluding with the EU in a policy of industrial vandalism that would wipe out train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world.
``We will fight this stitch up tooth and nail from the shopfloor to the benches of the House of Commons.
``German rail giant Deutsche Bahn awarded a #5 billion fleet contract to German company Siemens and no-one batted an eyelid but when it comes to British skilled manufacturing jobs getting support from this Government all we get is a pack of excuses and they stand exposed as totally impotent in light of the Bombardier/Thameslink scandal.''
Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said: ``The situation at Bombardier has reached crisis point. The Government must now act swiftly and decisively to save Britain's last train manufacturer.
``The dire consequences of the Government's misguided decision to exclude Bombardier from the contract to build carriages for the Thameslink project is now becoming a reality.
``Unite will be working tirelessly to maximise voluntary redundancies and natural wastage and we expect the company to fully cooperate with us but, the solution lies with the Government.
``It's a tragedy because these redundancies would have been needless if the Government really cared about British manufacturing and British skills.''
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the job losses were ``by no means'' all attributable to the decision not to award Bombardier with the Thameslink order.
``Bombardier are extremely disappointed not to win the Thameslink contract and we are extremely disappointed that they didn't win it,''
``But let's if I may, just put this in context - Bombardier has had a fantastic run of success, they have been building train orders for all sorts of companies over the last few years, they have geared up their labour force.
``They always knew that when those contracts came to an end, they would have to make some job losses.
``Indeed, the company wrote to me back in May and said that whatever the outcome of the Thameslink contract, regardless of whether they won or not, they would have to make 1,200 redundancies simply because of all the other contracts coming to an end.
``Of course, the Thameslink decision is bad news for Bombardier but the job losses being announced today are by no means all attributable to that decision.''
He said the Thameslink contract procurement process had been started by the previous Government.
``It has fallen to us to announce the result of that competition but actually we had no ability to influence the outcome of that decision,'' he said.
``The simple fact of the matter is under the criteria that the previous Government set out in the contract, Siemens were the winner of that competition and under European procurement law we had no choice but to announce them as the preferred bidder.''