Unite Scotland has today (19 June) reinforced Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard's, call for the Scottish Government to support manufacturers in Scotland. The current economic crisis due to Covid-19 and its impact on the sector threatens tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs across Scotland including Alexander Dennis in Falkirk and Larbert. 

The UK bus industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic with passenger numbers having collapsed by up to 80 per cent, alongside the normal bus and coach ordering process in the UK grinding to a halt.  Emergency funding from government does not include any support for bus manufacturers and the supply chain.  Additionally, it does not provide any funding for operators to order new vehicles.  The lack of financial support means that there will not be a return to normal levels of new vehicle orders in the near future. This is raising concerns over the short-term production levels of bus manufacturers such as Alexander Dennis.

Willie Thomson, Unite Regional Officer, said “The commitment from the First Minister is applauded but financial support from the Scottish Government is required to protect the Alexander Dennis workforce at Falkirk and Larbert. Unite welcomes the call to action, however, at present emergency funding does not extend to bus manufacturers nor does it support operators to purchase vehicles at a time when orders have reduced dramatically. This has happened at a time when the case for new vehicles to deliver cleaner, greener and increased capacity in passenger transport is required.  Alexander Dennis is a world-class company and we echo the call from Richard Leonard for the Scottish Government to provide support at this time of crisis.”