Leyland Trucks cut 1,000 jobs
By Barrie Clement
Leyland Trucks yesterday announced more than 1,000 redundancies at its Albion plant in Glasgow: in Leyland, Lancashire; and at the Scammell works, Watford.
The company blames a slump in export sales. Leyland Trucks has also not ruled out further redundancies at the troubled Bathgate plant in Lothian. At the Albion plant, where 1,400 are employed. 387 are to be made redundant, while 522 of the 5,000 Leyland workforce and 148 of the 1,000 at Watford will lose their jobs. A radical plan which the company instituted in 1982 had created a workforce geared to supporting a market of about 20,000 trucks a year.
However, a Leyland spokesman said: “last year we sold 11,000 trucks and this year we expect to sell between 11,000 and 12,000.”
Despite the figures he said that the company had a future and the redundancies had been announced to ensure it. Mr Gerry Russell. of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, said yesterday: “It has become an annual event to meet Leyland and be told of cutbacks. This is completely at variance with previous plans and the future looks bleak.”
The situation at Bathgate is being monitored by Mr George Younger, the Secretary or State for Scotland. who said he was “deeply concerned” at the Albion redundancies. “I recognize the seriousness of the situation for Leyland Trucks as a whole and Bathgate in particular.”
Mr Russell said he would be seeking a meeting with Mr Norman Tebbit, the Secretary of State for Industry, to win extra funding for the company. He added: “If we don’t have this one major manufacturing capacity, we are going to give it away to Mercedes, Fiat and the Japanese and another major aspect of British manufacturing will be gone.”