Unite Scotland has today (2 October) angrily reacted to the news that Alexander Dennis (ADL), the UK's largest bus and coach builder, is planning to axe a further 70 jobs in addition to the 200 job cuts previously announced at its Falkirk base in Scotland. 

Unite has 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 Alistair Jack MP 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. In a normal year about 25% of ADL’s order book are made up of orders from within Scotland and much of the rest is from the UK.

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 £3 billion fund. 

  • The Scottish Government enacting the Just Transition Committee’srecommendation to rapidly roll-out spending of the £500 million committed to prioritise buses.

  • The establishment of a Scottish-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.

  • 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. Unite wrote to Alister Jack the Secretary of State for Scotland on the 10th 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 £3 billion fund is a shocking state of affairs.”

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty