Rail firm set to axe 900 jobs in the UK
Rail freight company DB Cargo has announced plans to cut almost 900 UK jobs, blaming a “dramatic decline” in its core rail freight markets. The German-owned company said “unprecedented challenges” facing the industry, such as the declines in steel and coal, meant it was repositioning its business and proposing the redundancies – around 30% of its UK workforce. The RMT union said the development was “devastating” and that the Government had failed to support “a key section of our transport infrastructure”.
DB Cargo chief executive Hans-Georg Werner said: “Responsible and successful businesses must evolve and reshape as their markets change, and sometimes this means making tough decisions. “Whilst this is a difficult time for all of us at DB Cargo UK, reshaping the company will enable us to build a business for the future and protect the majority of jobs. “We are fully committed to supporting colleagues who may be at risk of redundancy.
“We firmly believe in the future of rail freight in the UK. Our motorways and roads are becoming more congested and rail offers fast and clean supply chain solutions. “Our new business strategy will ensure we are a perfect logistics partner of choice for customers across all sectors – including construction, automotive and intermodal – long into the future.”
The company charted a 78% decline in coal freight in the year to date and said it had carried 33% less steel. It blamed the closure of coal-fired power stations to meet emission targets and the demise of the UK steel industry amid stiff competition from China. Commenting on the announcement Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, said: “This is devastating news brought on through a combination of cut-throat practices in the UK rail freight industry and a shocking lack of Government support for this key section of our transport infrastructure.”
He added: “It is imperative right now that the Government intervene to save skilled jobs in the rail freight industry which are being butchered before their eyes due to a lack of action to protect steel, coal and the rest of our manufacturing base.”