The UK took a big hit over the weekend as Bombardier Transportation announced the loss of more than 1,400 jobs due to decreased work orders.
A key reason for these job losses was the British government’s decision to award a £1.4 billion contract to Germany’s Siemens for the manufacturing and maintenance of 1,200 train carriages on London’s Thameslink commuter rail line.
Bombardier Transportation is the rail equipment division of Bombardier Inc. and is one of the world's largest companies in the rail-equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Although the company’s headquarters are in Berlin, Germany, the company maintains a factory Derby, the last train manufacturing plant in the UK.
Bombardier announced on Tuesday that the manufacturing plant in Derby will be enacting a 90 day statutory consultation process aimed at downsizing and adjusting its production capacity. With the loss of the Thameslink contract plus other reductions in demand, Bombardier says that there is not a sufficient workload for it to maintain its current size in Derby.
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Bombardier’s Derby factory is currently manufacturing metro cars for London Underground’s Victoria Line and Subsurface Lines, as well as Turbostar diesel multiple units for London Midland. Only the contract for the Subsurface Lines job runs beyond this September.
In all there are 446 permanent employees at the Derby plant, plus an additional 983 temporary contracted staff members.
“The culmination and successful delivery of these projects and the loss of the Thameslink contract, which would have secured workload at this site, means that it is inevitable that we must adjust capacity in line with economic reality,”said Francis Paonessa, President of Bombardier Transportation’s Passengers Division for the UK.