Alexander Dennis (ADL), the UK's largest bus and coach builder, must 'come clean' over its opportunistic use of Covid-19 to cut 650 jobs and outsource work to Turkey, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 19 August 2020).  

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 6 August (see notes below), which includes plans to review and potentially close a UK manufacturing site.

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.

“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."

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

About NFI Forward Strategy: 

  • Based on Q2 financial results, the NFI Forward strategy aims to cut costs by up to $75 million.

  • 8-10% cost reductions for UK and North American sites, worth $20 million across manufacturing.

  • A review of UK and North American manufacturing, with a risk of a site closure by 2022.

  • The strategy was proposed to the NFI board before Covid-19 and is not a response to the pandemic.

  • The Group have adjusted earnings (EBIDA) to $144-$155 million and are continuing to pay out dividends. 

  • NFI's own forecasts show a recovery for UK bus passenger use, while UK bus companies are anticipated to restart placing orders to renew their fleets in 2021.

  • ADL won a contract for new fleet of double deck buses for Berlin in 2018. The company now plans to outsource this work to Karsan in Turkey.

Further details of the NFI Forward strategy are available here.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215. Email: ryan.fletcher@unitetheunion.org

For Scottish media enquires ONLY contact Willie Thomson on 07810 157910. Email: willie.thomson@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.