Treatment of Wolverton Railcare workers is ‘inhuman’

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The loss of 118 jobs at the Railcare train repair depot has been described as ‘inhuman’ and ‘a sad day for Wolverton’.

The redundancies were announced on Friday after the company went into administration earlier in the week.

Administrators BDO confirmed 118 redundancies in Wolverton and 33 at the company’s other site in Glasgow.

Those losing their jobs at the Wolverton site found out as their names were read from a list.

Councillor Pete Marland, Labour Group Leader on Milton Keynes Council and Wolverton ward, said: “The announcement of job losses at the Railcare site in Wolverton is a sad day.

“First and foremost those that have lost their jobs require support during this difficult time. Having already not been paid for over a month they deserved better.

“I am sure our community will pull together and offer every bit of help needed, because that is what Wolverton and New Bradwell does, we are a loyal and close community that will get through this.

“However, I am disgusted at the actions of both the administrator and Government over this whole situation.

“The actions of the administrator have been both hasty and inhuman. Reading out names from a list of those losing their jobs is downright degrading and disrespectful. In doing so in this manner BDO have shown they are not fit to deal with the honest hardworking staff of Railcare or any human-being.

“Secondly the actions of the Government has been appalling. In particular Vince Cable and his department have known about this situation for a while.

“It has stood on the sidelines and watched as a company with an excellent long term future has hit short term problems. They are still to actually meet anyone involved a weeks after the situation first arose.

“Both Vince Cable and our local Tory MP have issued statements about how they are monitoring a sad situation. This simply shows that the lessons of deindustrialisation have not been learned from the past.

“Skilled jobs at an irreplaceable site have been lost. In Germany the Government would have stepped in to provide short term help for long term gain. That is why they still have a manufacturing base and base and strong economy.

“But our Government and our MP prefer to watch as jobs go abroad. It is nothing short of a national disgrace.”

Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, said in a statement: “The announcement of redundancies at Railcare today is very worrying both for the workers themselves and the wider community.

“I am determined to continue to do all I can to support those who have been made redundant and have already been in touch with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure immediate support is offered.

“Today’s news comes after a difficult period for Railcare throughout which I have ensured that the government have been offering support to the company, this they have done in recent months through securing rating reviews and the deferment of pay as you earn payments to try reduce financial pressures on the company.

“Following the events over the past few days, Government reacted quickly by sending a UK Trade and Investment team to a German investor and held talks with the administrator to try and find a way forward.

“Like many over the last week I have been working hard to find a solution to the problems faced at Railcare. Having pressed for a short term loan it has become clear that this in itself would be a ‘sticking plaster’ solution to greater underlying problems.

“The only viable way forward is to ensure the company becomes a “going concern” to enable the future investment that is needed.

“Whilst today’s news is thoroughly depressing , with a good order book from October, I am confident that the medium term future for Railcare is positive and that the decades old tradition of railway engineering in Wolverton will continue.”