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Bombardier to shed jobs following Thameslink decision

Bombardier to shed jobs following Thameslink decision

Manufacturer Bombardier has confirmed it will shed 1,400 jobs following a decision by the British government to award a lucrative contract to Siemens.

Québec-based Bombardier said the majority of the jobs would go at a plant in Derby, north England, following the awarding of the £1.4bn Thameslink contract to the German rival.

A total of 1,200 carriages for the route are needed for the planned route between Bedford and Brighton.

Some 446 permanent jobs and 983 temporary contract staff are expected to go following the decision, although a 90-day consultation process has been launched.

Unions argue as many as 10,000 jobs in supply chains across the region could go, and called on the government to reverse the decision to award the contract overseas.

However, transport secretary Philip Hammond has made it clear this is not likely.

Jobs are expected to go from September onward at the plant – which presently employs 3,000 people – once two large contracts are completed.

“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,” explained Francis Paonessa, president of the passengers division for Bombardier in the UK.

While Bombardier is laying off staff, Siemens has said that it will create 2,000 jobs across the UK as a result of winning the Thameslink contract.

However, Siemens will build the trains in Germany and only 300 of the UK jobs it creates will be directly employed manufacturing posts, at a factory in Hebburn, South Tyneside.

Siemens already employs about 16,000 people in the UK.