Bombardier Transportation set to cut more than 1,000 jobs

Bombardier Transportation is to cut more than 1,000 jobs at its plant in Derby following a decline in orders.

A total of 1,429 positions will be lost, with 983 temporary and 446 permanent staff set to leave the Canadian aerospace and transportation company.

In a statement, Francis Paonessa, president of the passengers division for Bombardier in the UK, said: ’We regret this outcome but without new orders we cannot maintain the current level of employment and activity at Derby.

‘Over the next 90 days together with employee representatives we will work with individual employees to ensure the best possible outcome for our people.’

In June, Bombardier lost out to Siemens in the bid to win a contract to supply a new fleet of trains for the Thameslink programme.

In a written statement, minister of state for transport Theresa Villiers said the selection of Siemens represented the ‘best value for money for taxpayers’ and that the German company would create up to 2,000 new jobs in its UK operations and across the supply chain. According to Siemens, these include up to 300 skilled manufacturing positions in Hebburn, South Tyneside.

Villiers added that the competition to supply trains and maintenance services for Thameslink was designed and launched in 2008 under the Labour government, in accordance with EU procurement procedures.

Gerry Doherty, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: ‘No German or French government would be so foolish as to award such a vital contract to an overseas manufacturer, threatening thousands of domestic jobs. We should be equally hard headed when it comes to preserving our own train-building industry.’

The BBC reports that despite today’s announcement, Bombardier would likely have laid off 1,200 staff in Derby as it adjusted to finishing other contracts.

Stephen Tetlow, chief executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said the UK has no clear vision for its long-term transport infrastructure and that it is on course to remain one of the worst-performing European countries in terms of transport infrastructure for the next 10 years. 

‘Vital national strategic capabilities such as transport, energy and defence demand clear long-term visionary thinking and joined-up government action,’ said Tetlow. ‘Without these the UK is stuck in the sidings and well-intentioned initiatives to boost engineering apprenticeships and encourage technology innovation will be meaningless — especially in Derby.’

Should the government have awarded the contract to Bombardier in order to preserve jobs? What do the redundancies say about the difficulties manufacturing firms face in the UK? Join the debate on our new forums site.