Bus maker Alexander Dennis urged to 'come clean' over job cuts

Unite slams Alexander Dennis over opportunistic job cuts and Turkey outsourcing plans

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Alexander Dennis (ADL) must ‘come clean’ over its opportunistic use of Covid-19 to cut 650 jobs and outsource work to Turkey, Unite said today (August 19).

Unite has discovered that the job cuts were planned before the pandemic and is now calling for government support for ADL to be conditional on keeping jobs in the UK.

Formal consultation over 650 job cuts at Falkirk, Guildford and Scarborough is expected to begin within days.

Unite has discovered that the job cuts are part of a restructure strategy planned and approved by ADL’s parent company, the NFI Group, before the health crisis.

The implementation of this strategy, NFI Forward, was announced to investors in North America on August 6 , which includes plans to review and potentially close a UK manufacturing site.

In the clip below, Pipasu Soni, CFO of New Flyer, an American firm also part of NFI Group, tells investors that the ADL job cut plans were developed before the coronavirus pandemic and are about generating “significant returns for shareholders”.

Meanwhile, New Flyer CEO Paul Soubry admits to investors in the clip below that many orders for ADL buses were in fact shifted to next year – not cancelled.

Unite has also discovered that ADL plans to outsource a large bus building contract for Berlin to a company in Turkey, despite using the decline in orders to try and justify planned cuts.

Unite has been calling for the prime minister’s promised order of 4,000 new low emission buses to be brought forward to help the bus and coach industry to recover from Covid-19, but says any support must now be conditional on ending job cuts, ending outsourcing and committing to the long term future of each site.

Unite national officer for automotive Steve Bush said, “Unite will not allow Covid-19 to be used as cover to cut jobs. It’s time ADL come clean and explain exactly what its new ‘NFI Forward’ strategy means for the future of all three UK sites. It is utterly unacceptable for the NFI Group to announce restructure plans to investors which impact our members and hope we wouldn’t notice.

“ADL is clearly not interested in a serious consultation. Unite shop stewards are demanding an immediate halt on planned job cuts, full disclosure of plans to outsource major contracts to Turkey and a commitment to the long term future of each UK site,” he added.

“Unite has been worked in good faith to get the bus and coach industry through this health crisis. We are still calling for the government to bring forward it’s order of 4,000 new low emission buses, but any public money including new orders, must now be conditional on the company retaining jobs and keeping work in the UK.”

By Ryan Fletcher

Clips compiled by Martin Scanlon

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