Unite Scotland has reacted to the news that Alexander Dennis (ADL) is planning to make a further 70 redundancies in addition to the job cuts previously announced at its Falkirk base in Scotland.
Unite said that nearly 300 jobs will now go out of 850 workers after the company responded by announcing further job losses following the union’s insistence that the company maximises its efforts to save jobs and to support workers being made redundant.
The trade union, which represents the majority of the workforce, has also severely criticised MP Alister Jack for the lack of any response to a letter dated 10 September from Unite, which invited the Secretary of State for Scotland to meet with workplace representatives to discuss the current situation facing ADL in Scotland and what levels of support could be provided for the low-emissions bus industry, which Unite says in a normal year makes up about 25% of ADL’s order book. Unite Scotland is demanding a number of strategic interventions by government at a UK and Scottish level to support the green manufacturing industry:
- The UK Government immediately bringing forward the promised funding for 4,000 low-emission buses through a £3bn fund;
- The Scottish Government enacting the Just Transition Committee’s recommendation to rapidly roll-out spending of the £500m committed to prioritise buses;
- The establishment of a Scotland-wide bus scrappage scheme to replace older diesel buses with low emission and zero-emission buses;
- The immediate procuring of a fleet of green buses for use at COP26 in Glasgow next November; and
- The acceleration of orders to bus manufacturers and the supply chain through the new Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which will provide £9 million this year to help bus operators invest in ultra-low emission vehicles.
Unite Scottish Secretary, Pat Rafferty, said: “The prospect of Alexander Dennis further cutting its workforce by 70 jobs in addition to the 200 announced a number of weeks ago is staggering. Unite has worked day in and day out to ensure the company honours the agreed consultation processes with the workforce. The sole objective for all should be to maximise the efforts to save jobs and to financially support workers through redundancy.
“The lack of action by the UK Government is also disgraceful,” he continued. “Unite wrote to Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland on 10 September inviting him to discuss how together with Unite and the Scottish Government we could protect highly-skilled jobs in Falkirk. The reality is that 75% of Alexander Dennis’ orders come from outside Scotland with the vast majority of it being in the rest of the UK. Therefore, the lack of a response from Alister Jack to our overtures to support the workforce and the inaction by Boris Johnson in relation to the promised funding for 4,000 low-emission buses through a £3bn fund is a shocking state of affairs.”