760 redundancies at Doncaster rail firm

Confusion surrounding closure of Doncaster rail firm

760 redundancies at Doncaster rail firm

A Doncaster rail firm is planning to close its factory entirely resulting in 760 redundancies, according to union bosses.

Wabtec Rail announced plans last month to axe 450 jobs at its Doncaster factory.

But now bosses from the Rail, Maritime and Transport Worker’s Union (RMT) have suggested that the firm might have plans to close the factory completely and sell the land.

This would increase the number of job losses to around 760.

Last month, the union claimed that the job losses were being “smuggled out under the cloak of the Covid-19 crisis”.

Now, Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, has added:

“Further information has been provided to the union with the company’s real intentions for its workforce.

“If making 450 redundancies was not bad enough, the company have now said that it will actually make 760 posts redundant, including all 682 manual graded staff, still cutting the 450 posts from the worforce but forcing the remainder into newly created posts with different contracts of employment and associated terms and conditions.

“Additionally – and even more outrageously – the company has stated that if it does not achieve its aims through consultation and negotiations with the union, then it will dismiss all staff and re-engage those it needs to continue the business.

“Not only that, but Wabtec has also hinted that it may even close the entire site down and sell off the premises and land.

“We will not accept our members being treated in the way that Wabtec are trying to do and are wholly against any redundancies.

“We are obviously in very difficult and worrying times for workers throughout our industry, but the way in which Wabtec management are acting in this manner is quite unacceptable.”

The union says employees will be made redundant between August and March 2021.

More than 100 redundancies are expected in August.

A spokesperson for Wabtec explained the firms position. He said:

“The transit rail industry in the United Kingdom is changing, as rail operators are updating their fleets with new rolling stock rather than refurbishing existing trains.

“In 2019, Wabtec’s Doncaster site completed most of its refurbishment projects and has a strategy in place to fulfill the remaining commitments.

“Given these realities, Wabtec is proposing to realign the site to focus on projects best suited for its operational strengths and better position the facility for long-term success.

“Decisions like this are never easy, but it will improve the site’s cost competitiveness and offer customers the best value.

“The proposed realignment includes a gradual workforce reduction of up to 450 employees from the third quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021.

“The Company will enter a 45-day consultation period with the trade union and employee representatives to discuss the proposal and improved work practices.
“Wabtec is focused on meeting customer commitments and providing impacted employees with resources and benefits needing during this transition.”

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