Our Ref BR4/16/3
21st January 2021
RESTRUCTURING AND REDUNDANCIES - WABTEC DONCASTER
Further to my letter of 30th September 2020, I am writing to provide an update on the situation at Wabtec Doncaster where the company have in the recent period been seeking redundancies and changes to members’ terms and conditions of employment.
Your Lead Officer has recently met with the Managing Director for Wabtec Faiveley UK. At this meeting your Lead Officer was informed that despite the most recent redundancies as a result of the restructure, the company were continuing to make a loss. The company stated that the reason for this as the loss of a number of bids for work and this was explained by the company as a consequence of their costs being too high when considering overtime rates and a perceived lack of flexibility to roster staff to meet demand.
We are without access to the full information of the company’s bids or the tender outcome and scoring by the tendering organisations, but staff costs are a consideration in all bids. However, it is apparent to your Representatives that the greatest obstacles to winning work are the company’s requirement for a larger profit margin than competitors combined with a poor reputation within the industry associated with their previous poor management of contracts.
Subsequent to your Lead Officer’s meeting with the company correspondence was received where the company state that a further 100 redundancies in addition to the renegotiation of terms and conditions are required to keep maintain the business’ viability.
Your union is always fully prepared to negotiate, to settle matters and make agreements that are satisfactory to all parties. Wabtec’s hostile approach makes this considerably more difficult and narrows the range of possible solutions to the problems the company face. The focus for the company has been stated as attacking existing jobs, terms and conditions and excludes all the other possible approaches to improve the long-term viability of the business from negotiation.
This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee, which has noted the contempt and disregard towards members from the company. The union’s stance on rejecting any compulsory redundancies remains unchanged. I have been instructed to convene a meeting of the NEC, Assistant General Secretary, your Lead Officer and Representatives at the earliest opportunity to discuss how the matter is approached. I am acting in accordance with this instruction.
Your union is committed to doing everything possible to avoid redundancies and detrimental changes to terms and conditions at Wabtec Doncaster and will continue to engage with the company as far as is possible in advancing members’ interests.
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will inform you of any further developments on this issue as they arise.