Jarrow MP reassured over Siemens job loss fears

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn says hundreds of jobs at the town's Siemens engineering plant are safe - for the time-being.

Wednesday, 14th February 2018, 5:00 am
Siemens in Hebburn.

The future of the factory, which employs 432 people, was thrown into doubt last month when the German-owned firm announced it was reviewing its operations.

Siemens, which announced more than 170 job losses at the site at the beginning of January, has denied the plant is facing imminent closure.

Stephen Hepburn MP

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But the company admitted it was examining its options, releasing a statement which said: “We can confirm that a site review is being undertaken in the North East, which is yet to be concluded.

“Absolutely no decisions have been taken and won’t be without thorough consultation. Any changes to the site that stem from the review will be some time from implementation.

“It is incorrect to claim the site is at immediate risk of closure.”

Stephen Hepburn announced he was seeking an urgent meeting with company bosses to discuss the future of the site.

Stephen Hepburn MP

Now he says he has been reassured by what he heard: “I met with the management at Siemens regarding local concerns about the future of the Hebburn site,” he said.

“It was good to hear that the unions and management are working together to alleviate the effect of any job losses.

“I was also given assurances that there was no imminent plan for closure and that the proposed restructure could take up to two years.”

Siemens made two announcements of job losses in the North East, where it employs 2,000 people, last month.

It first confirmed 58 employees would go at its rail-related business in Hebburn, due to changes to the customer service side of the company.

A combined further 15 staff in Hebburn and Garforth, Leeds, will also go.

In the same statement, it confirmed its Siemens Power Generation Services business in Newcastle was looking for applications for voluntary redundancy.

The firm said this followed significant market challenges and fundamental changes to the UK’s fossil-power generation market.

Days later, bosses confirmed another 113 people on temporary contracts in Hebburn would lose their jobs, due to several contracts ending.