Doncaster rail firm says plans for company's closure are 'completely false'

A Doncaster rail engineering firm has hit back at union claims that it plans to close it works completely with the loss of 760 jobs as ‘completely false.’

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 12:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 12:51 pm

Wabtec announced earlier this year that it planned to cut 450 staff at its Doncaster works because of the coronavirus crisis.

However union officials said the true number of job losses was far higher and that the firm also planned to close the plant and sell off the land in Hexthorpe it is situated on.

But a spokesman for Wabtec has blasted the RMT over the claims and said: “The statements regarding plans to close our Doncaster plant are completely false.

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Wabtec in Doncaster is making job losses.

“There are no such plans.

“As we announced a few weeks ago, the Doncaster plant is refocusing its efforts on projects that are more suited to its operational strengths.

“The company is in a 45-day consultation with the trade union and employee representatives to discuss that proposal.

“This consultation is important to position the plant for long-term success.

“It is critical to improve the plant’s efficiency and cost competitiveness in this challenging market.

“We are working with the trade union and employee representatives to achieve that goal.”

Last week, Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union said: “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.

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

In June, all 952 staff at the historic Doncaster Works site on Hexthorpe Road – birthplace of famous steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman – were told there is not enough work for everyone, ahead of a 45-day consultation period.

The Doncaster Works, on a 22-acre site beside the East Coast mainline, has a long history in the construction and maintenance of trains.