MORE than 1,300 workers at train maker Alstom could lose their jobs in the new year.
The French-owned company said it would be making cutbacks after a lack of new orders.
The jobs of 550 permanent staff and 780 contractors are at risk out of the 2,000 workers at its Litchurch Lane factory in Derby.
Alstom employs 6,000 people in total across the whole of the UK.
The Litchurch Lane factory has been manufacturing trains since the Victorian era and the beginning of the railway boom.
It has made rolling stock for national rail lines, and recently for the London Underground’s Elizabeth line.
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The delay in the building of HS2 has been one setback for Alstom.
Last month, PM Rishi Sunak scrapped the northern leg of the high-speed rail line.
If Alstom’s Derby site is mothballed it could have a knock-on effect for the building of HS2 trains.
A spokesman said: “Alstom has been working with the government for the last six months with the joint objective of securing a sustainable future for our factory at Derby.”
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But now the company has said that with “no committed way forward it is with deep regret that we must now plan for a significant reduction in activity at Derby by entering a period of collective consultation on potential redundancies.”
Paresh Patel from the Unite union said: “This site has been part of this community for the past 180-odd years.
“If the government doesn’t get its act together there is a real danger that the workforce will dwindle and in the future we may not be talking about Alstom or rail manufacturing in the way we are today.”
Alstom, which is listed in Paris and also makes France’s high-speed TGV trains, told investors it would burn through over £435million this year.
FROTH TO WORK WE GO AGAIN
THE return to offices has revived the after-work pint tradition, according to pub chain Fullers, Smith & Turner.
Sales at the group, which has pubs dotted around the City of London and the South, have risen 12 per cent to £188.8million in the six months to the end of September.
Boss Simon Emeny said: “People want to be back spending time with human beings again”.
However, he warned that numbers were not back to pre-Covid levels.
After three years of disruption, he said Christmas bookings were 11 per cent higher than last year.
Despite the cost of living, Mr Emeny said drinkers weren’t trading down to cheaper lagers and were still opting to drink pricier pints of beers like Asahi or Peroni.
He added: “Enjoying a good beer with friends, colleagues or a date is a life-fulfilling experience and a pint isn’t a new TV or a new car.
“In comparison it’s relatively inexpensive.”
PRICE OF HOME DIP
UK house prices have suffered their first annual fall for 11 years as higher mortgage rates discouraged buyers.
Official figures showed the average price of a home dropped by 0.1 per cent in September compared with the previous year.
The average cost of a UK home is now £291,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.
London saw the biggest fall while North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland prices rose.
WE’RE IN THE PINK
Warner Bros shot most of the film at its studio in Leavesden, Herts, creating 685 jobs, employing 6,000 extras and giving work to 745 local businesses.
Most of the set, including Barbie’s Dreamhouse, was built in the UK.
The film raked in £95million in this country.
TOP SALE AS GILTS REBOUND
INVESTORS are backing Britain again after piling into government bonds.
The UK’s Debt Management Office said there had been the highest ever level number of orders for 20-year bonds, known as gilts.
They have had a bumpy ride over the past year initially plummeting in value during 2022’s mini-budget meltdown.
They suffered even steeper falls this year amid fears that interest rates would keep rising.
Bond yields rise when their prices fall because investors want a greater reward for a riskier asset.
Earlier this year gilt yields were trading above 5 per cent — higher than during the 2008 financial crisis. They have now come down to 4.6 per cent.
The successful sale of bonds yesterday comes after official figures showed a sharp fall in inflation, easing fears of interest rate rises.
About 90 per cent of investors were UK based.
OCADO shares spiked by 5.6 per cent yesterday to 596.20 as investors welcomed the company’s first non-grocery deal.
1.4M JOIN ENERGY SAVINGS
HOUSEHOLDS and businesses will be paid today for turning down their energy usage at peak evening times.
The electricity system operator said that 1.4million had already signed up ahead of this winter’s first “Demand Flexibility Service”.
The scheme was put in place last year during the energy crisis amid fears the UK could face blackouts.
Brits who have a smart meter will be told to reduce their electricity usage between 5pm and 6.30pm in return for a small cash sweetener.
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Last winter 1.6million homes and firms took part and saved energy to power 10million homes.
Households will earn around £3 for every kilowatt of energy saved, the equivalent of running a dishwasher.