Doncaster rail firm announces job losses and plans to 'consolidate' its town factory

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Doncaster rail firm has announced plans to ‘consolidate’ its operations in the town after revealing proposals to close a factory in Scotland.

Around 100 jobs at Wabtec are under threat with the proposed closure of the firm’s train carriage refurbishment works in East Ayrshire.

The firm says it is now planning to “consolidate” its operations in Doncaster following a reduction in orders.

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The plans would result in the closure of its Kilmarnock base, which has been criticised by unions.

Wabtec Rail in Doncaster.Wabtec Rail in Doncaster.
Wabtec Rail in Doncaster.

A spokesman for Unite said: “It was only recently Wabtec was saying that was it fully committed to the long-term success of its Kilmarnock facility and that it planned to ‘invest accordingly’.

“We are dismayed by this decision and believe it to be completely premature.

“That’s why we are demanding that the company work with us to explore every avenue to bring in more work.”

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A spokesman for Wabtec said it was a business decision from the last few years at the site and not related to the current coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “Wabtec announced last week its intention to close its manufacturing operations at its Scottish Wheelset and Vehicle Overhaul facility in Kilmarnock.

“Decisions like this are never easy but over the past few years our site has experienced reduced volume and this decrease is no longer sustainable.

“This decision will help to simplify and optimise the company’s manufacturing footprint in today’s cyclical environment, as well as better position Wabtec for success.

“The company remains fully committed to all customer commitments and providing impacted employees with resources and benefits to manage the transition.”