Bombardier announced today the loss of over 1,400 jobs at its Litchurch Lane factory in Derby. This follows the award of the £3 billion train order to the German company Siemens. Diana Holland, assistant general secretary of the trade union Unite, has written to Philip Hammond and Vince Cable, demanding an urgent meeting.
Of course, without detailed inside knowledge one cannot possibly comment on the particular situation inside the Derby plant, but the tendency within the UK, in contrast to industry in countries like Germany, and Japan, is for management to keep a certain distance from the people on the factory floor, issuing orders from on high and failing to put sufficient value on the knowledge held by those in the front line. It is largely a consequence of the British class system. I wonder if the Bombardier factory is a shining exception?