ADL hits back at job-cut criticism

Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) has hit back at Unite the union, which claimed recent job losses at the manufacturer’s Guildford site were ‘cynically fast tracked’.

ADL has ended 200 jobs after closing its Guildford chassis manufacturing plant. A consultation at the manufacturer’s Scarborough site has ended with 90 employees from a workforce of about 600 being made redundant. The company announced in July that it was planning a restructuring programme that would see up to 650 job losses. The changes at ADL are part of a wider restructuring process being implemented by its parent company, NFI.

The job losses follow a dramatic decline of orders for new buses and coaches due to the impact of the pandemic.

Unite national officer for automotive industries, Steve Bush, said: “We believe that the closure was cynically fast tracked to avoid negative publicity and it is extra shameful as an order for 150 chassis earmarked for Guildford is now being diverted to an outsourced company in the UK.

“As Guildford was producing seven chassis a week, there was at least five months of work in the pipeline that could have ensured employment for the workforce, while we explored how the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s extension of the furlough scheme to the end of March 2021 could have been utilised to safeguard our members’ jobs.

“It is clear that ADL bosses were planning this so-called restructuring of their operations before the pandemic struck earlier in the year.

“The company has been using Covid-19 as a cloak to justify this jobs’ cull and shown a complete disregard for either its workers or the national interest.”

“It is frustrating and disruptive…that Unite is potentially causing additional distress to those affected by this process at this time.”

ADL responded to the union’s claims: “ADL, and our parent company NFI, responded to similar accusations some months ago and we have no other comment to make which would give any credence to the unfounded statements made by external parties.

“The job losses encountered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been devastating for the entire industry and our business with the loss of valued team members, friends and long serving colleagues.

“It is frustrating and disruptive, while we have been in lengthy discussions with our team members and trade unions since the start of lockdown in March, that Unite is potentially causing additional distress to those affected by this process at this time.

“It is time to focus on safeguarding the 1,800 jobs which remain in our business.”

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