Thirteen more workers at the stricken train repair depot Railcare lost their jobs this week, taking the total number of staff made redundant to 135.
The unlucky 13 were told the bad news on Tuesday, but for those still employed at the historic Wolverton Works – which this year celebrates 175 years of rail engineering – the nightmare continues.
The staff were paid a week’s wages by administrators BDO last Friday, but they are still owed more than a month’s money dating back to June.
“The uncertainty is really starting to take its toll,” one frustrated worker told the Citizen. “We all think it’s going to be us next or we’re all going to go.
“At least those who have lost their jobs have got some closure and know what they will be entitled to.
“We have been assured, not promised, that we will be paid another week’s wages this Friday. They are just taking it week by week at the moment, but that is no good to the men who are going into overdrafts – the banks will just eat that money up.”
Workers who are members of the Unite or RMT unions are expecting to be given ‘hardship’ payments to help tide them over this week. But with no buyer for Railcare yet confirmed, the situation could yet get worse before it gets better.
MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster, said: “I am absolute in my determination to ensure workers at Wolverton works are protected and those who have lost their jobs are supported back into work as quickly as possible.
“I have been working behind the scenes to help Railcare secure its future and hope to meet with Vince Cable to discuss what further support BiS can offer.”
Councillor Peter Marland, leader of Milton Keynes Labour Group and Wolverton ward councillor, said: “More job losses and a reduction in capacity is bad news for the town and the future.
“We have been calling on the Government and our MP for two weeks now to step in and provide a coordinated response and work across departments to provide a viable lifeline until the business’s order book picks up on the autumn.
“Once jobs and skills are lost, they are gone. We now need that action to happen and our MP and our government to offer more than words, get off their hands and provide critical help to ensure a future for the Works.”