The Workers Party of Britain denounces plans by Britain’s biggest bus and coach builder to wipe out 650 jobs at its sites in Guildford, Falkirk and Scarborough, with the complete closure of the Guildford works.
ADL (Alexander Dennis), steered by Canadian parent company NFI, has consistently lied to workers, telling them that the redundancies are an inevitable consequence of the pandemic.
The truth, however, is that the lockdown has just been seized upon by NFI/ADL as a pretext for accelerating job-shedding and outsourcing plans that were already in the pipeline.
NFI’s finance boss Pipasu Sinui spelt this out to an investors’ meeting on 6 August, bragging that the company’s strategy, predating the lockdown, would generate “significant returns for shareholders”.
This same naked greed for maximum profits has dictated the company’s plan to outsource a big order of buses for Berlin to a cheaper workforce in Turkey.
It is intolerable that the productive future of hundreds of British coachbuilders should be dictated by some cost-cutting wheeze dreamed up in a Canadian boardroom and disingenuously passed off as an inevitable consequence of Covid-19.
And it is particularly crazy to be shedding jobs in bus manufacture at a time when the government has promised a £3bn plan to get 4,000 new green buses on British roads!
The Workers Party of Britain supports whatever measures ADL workers take to resist this attack on jobs. We also welcome Unite’s suggestion that the government should put its money where its mouth is by buying buses direct from the manufacturers and then renting them out to bus operators.
This could be a first step on the road to a fully integrated public transport system, with the manufacture and operation of buses coming under a national plan based on public need, not private profit.