Bombardier: UK’s last trainmaker to shed nearly 1,500 jobs

5th July 2011

The last UK-based trainmaker said it was "inevitable" it would have to make 446 permanent and 983 contract staff redundant.

A report on the Financial Times (paywall) website said the job losses follow the UK government's decision to award a contract to Germany's Siemens rather than Bombardier to build the Thameslink programme.

Bombardier also lost out to Japan's Hitachi in bidding for the Inter City Express programme to replace the UK's ageing InterCity 125 fleet.

On the Guardian website Bombardier said it had to lose nearly half of its 3,000 staff because four out of five production lines will be idle from September once contracts for the London Underground Victoria line and the London Midland franchise are completed.

Francis Paonessa, head of Bombardier's UK passenger division, said winning the Thameslink contract would have "secured workload at this site". He added: "We regret this outcome but without new orders we cannot maintain the current level of employment and activity at Derby."

Unions have reacted angrily to the job losses. Bob Crow – from the railworkers union, the RMT – accused the government of "industrial vandalism" and said the union would fight the decision "tooth and nail".

Gerry Doherty, leader of the TSSA rail union, said the government must reverse the decision on Siemens.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that was an impossible because the government had to abide by a procurement process devised by the previous Labour administration.

Unite has written to two cabinet ministers in an effort to have the Thameslink decision reversed.

The decision also comes a few days after Iain Duncan Smith's call for businesses to favour "our young people" rather than handing jobs to economic migrants.

Read more:

Bonfire on the High Street

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