Plaxton update: Potential job losses are 'a devastating blow' says union boss

Potential job losses at the parent company of Scarborough coachbuilders Plaxton are “a devastating blow”, says a union boss.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 11:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 11:26 am

Bus maker Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) announced yesterday that up to 650 jobs across the UK are at risk.

The company employs 750 people at Plaxton’s Eastfield factory.

Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said it is working with the firm to minimise redundancies, which are part of a restructuring by the bus makers’ Canada-based parent firm NFI Group Inc.

The Plaxton factory at Eastfield

As well as its Scarborough plant, ADL has a production site in Falkirk where it employs 850 people and in Guildford, Surrey, where there are 350 workers.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “The balance of our UK workforce of 2,300 works at one of our smaller aftermarket sites, or remotely.

“The jobs at risk are across all functions at all of our UK facilities.

“Unfortunately we are unable to give any additional details ahead of the formal consultation, which is expected to begin in the coming weeks.”

The union and MP for Scarborough and Whitby Robert Goodwill have called on the Government to bring forward £3 billion plans to get 4,000 new green buses on the UK’s roads to prevent job losses amongst the firm’s 2,500 strong workforce.

Unite national officer Steve Bush said: “This is a devastating blow for Alexander Dennis workers and their communities.

“Unite will be doing everything possible to support our members at this difficult time and we will be working with the firm to ensure it explores all possible avenues to minimise redundancies.

“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the automotive sector greatly. However, ADL is in a good position to take advantage of the need to reduce the carbon footprint of the UK’s passenger transport network.

“Unite is clear ADL must not impact its future operating capacity by cutting jobs opportunistically for the sake of short-term savings.

“The Government also has its part to play. This month Boris Johnson reiterated that £3 billion will be allocated for 4,000 green buses to be built.

“Those plans must be activated as soon as possible to save jobs and get the UK on the road to cleaner public transport.

“As Unite has emphasised in correspondence with minister for transport Grant Shapps, the easiest way to achieve this would be for the Government to purchase the buses directly from manufacturers.

“The Government could then lease them to the bus operators, many of whom are delaying orders because their cash flows have been impacted by the lockdown.”

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