Sacked Railcare workers could get jobs back

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Some of the 130 Railcare workers made redundant in ‘shameful’ fashion could be re-employed by the company’s new owners later this year.

Work will now continue at the historic Wolverton Works – which this year celebrates 175 years of rail engineering in the town – after administrators secured a buyer for the business earlier this week.

The company, including a second depot in Glasgow, will be known as Knorr-Bremse Rail Services (UK) Ltd after the German firm took control.

And the company now says former employees could get the chance to return.

More than 150 skilled jobs were axed at the two Railcare sites in August – 130 of them at Wolverton – and the manner in which they were informed was met with fierce criticism as names were read off a list.

The remaining employees have been told they will be paid salaries they are owed from July, bringing a month-long nightmare to an end.

“We’re overwhelmed with relief. A huge cloud has been lifted from over us,” said Tom Emerton, the union rep for UNITE at Wolverton.

“Managers from the new company gave a presentation to the workforce on Tuesday and it was all very promising – they are a family business and are in it for the long term.

“And they may be looking to recruit people when work begins to pick up in October, so we as a union want to make sure those who lost their jobs are considered first.

“Some of them may not be willing to return after the way in which they were treated, but they should be given the chance. The administrators decided who should go and it was awful.

“They got rid of so many skilled workers, with the sort of experience the business is going to need in the future.”

A spokesman for Knorr-Bremse Rail Services (UK) Ltd, said: “We will immediately be looking at the skills we need within the new company, to best serve customers’ needs both now and going forward which may result in some new employment opportunities being made available.

“Former employees will be well placed to apply for and secure any such vacancies that are created. However, we cannot at this juncture, give any further information or any guarantees as to the type or number of vacancies that may be created as this will be driven solely by the needs of the business.”

Pictured are city MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster with Mark Fletcher, Paul Goodhand and Rolf Hardi of Knorr-Bremse.