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150 jobs could go at landmark town firm

PUBLISHED: 21:28 06 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

By Juliette Maxam

FEARS were growing last night that 150 jobs could be axed at one of Colchester's most famous firms, Paxman.

It is understood the possible job cuts could slash the workforce by almost two-thirds, leaving just 100 people left at the Port Lane factory, which was once one of the town's major employers.

By Juliette Maxam

FEARS were growing last night that 150 jobs could be axed at one of Colchester's most famous firms, Paxman.

It is understood the possible job cuts could slash the workforce by almost two-thirds, leaving just 100 people left at the Port Lane factory, which was once one of the town's major employers.

Bob Russell, the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, has arranged a meeting with the diesel engine manufacturing company's management to discuss the firm's future.

Mr Russell, who has been worried about impending job losses since before Christmas, said last night: “I'm very concerned. It's dismally sad news if it's true.”

He has arranged a meeting with Paxman's management in a fortnight's time and added: “The workforce realised things weren't good. What I'm hoping to do is to salvage something out of a desperate situation.

“Paxman has been synonymous with Colchester for 150 years. For the greater part of the 20th Century it was a major employer and vital for the local economy.

“Its demise is desperately sad. It illustrates how the manufacturing industry, particularly engineering, has collapsed in the last 25 years.”

Paxman, which makes diesel engines, is owned by MAN B&W Diesel, based in Germany, which employs 7,300 people in factories in Germany, Denmark, England, France and Singapore.

In the past couple of years MAN B&W Diesel has restructured and reorganised all of its companies worldwide.

In May 2001, the company unveiled an investment programme to develop its UK manufacturing facilities, which included improvements in the Colchester plant and facilities.

But Paxman announced 50 redundancies in the sales, engineering, finance, IT and logistics departments at its Colchester plant last February as it reorganised engine manufacture and after-market business.

Then in November the company said overhaul and refurbishment facilities at Paxman would be extensively developed to offer servicing for all MAN B&W Diesel diesel engines built in the UK.

No-one from Paxman or MAN B&W Diesel's UK headquarters in Stockport could be contacted for comment last night.

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk


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