450 jobs to go at historic rail site

Wabtec rail has announced plans to let go almost half of staff at its Doncaster site.

The US company has announced plans to lay off around 450 of the 952 staff at the Doncaster Works site, which was originally establish by Great Northern Railway in 1853.

According to Wabtec the job losses are the result of changes in the market, which has seen operators choosing to update fleets with new rolling stock rather than refurbishing existing vehicles.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Wabtec is proposing to realign the site to focus on projects best suited for its operational strengths and better position the facility for long-term success.”

“Decisions like this are never easy, but it will improve the site’s cost competitiveness and offer customers the best value.”

The news has been criticised by RMT who called for the plans to be “immediately withdrawn” to enable “discussions with the Government and local politicians on how to protect these skilled engineering jobs” to take place.

General secretary of RMT Mick Cash said: “The plan to almost halve the Wabtec Doncaster workforce is devastating news for the area and the industry and is wholly opposed by RMT.

“RMT’S executive will be considering a detailed response to the plans which are another sign of the kind of carnage that is being lined up for the engineering and transport sectors off the back of this pandemic.”

A consultation process is underway with employee and union representatives and the cuts are expected to take place between August and March.

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