Anger over job losses

A DECISION to axe almost 100 Army repair jobs in Colchester has been called a “betrayal” by a leading public sector union.The job losses at the Army's vehicle repairs agency - called ABRO - will affect a number of bases across the UK, including Colchester.

A DECISION to axe almost 100 Army repair jobs in Colchester has been called a “betrayal” by a leading public sector union.

The job losses at the Army's vehicle repairs agency - called ABRO - will affect a number of bases across the UK, including Colchester.

They were announced yesterday in Parliament by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram - who was in the town just over a year ago to mark the start of one of the £2 billion Garrison redevelopment.

In Colchester around 100 personnel based at a service and repair depot in Flagstaff Road face the axe.


You may also want to watch:


Of the workforce stationed there, 39 will lose their jobs when the depot closes in March 2007 with 96 having lost their jobs by 2010.

It is understood that some of the employees at the Colchester ABRO will be redeployed following close of the centre.

Most Read

The news has been described by a leading member of the Transport and General Workers Union as “a betrayal of skilled workers”.

A spokesman for the MoD said: “Closure of the Colchester site will involve the loss of 39 jobs and 96 jobs will be lost by 2010.

“Some of these will be through natural causes such as staff turnover but there will also be a redundancy programme and negotiations with the unions.

“The plan is that the vehicles will be maintained and repaired by the units that use them rather than taken to a central location for that work to be carried out.”

He added that the exact arrangements had not yet been finalised and that some uncertainty remained as to exactly how the jobs would be lost.

Mr Ingram told the Commons that the changes were needed to provide “more adaptable, efficient and effective support structures.”

But he also promised to try to ease the impact of the losses on those affected by helping them find alternative employment.

Peter Allenson, the Transport and General Workers Union's national secretary for public services, said: “The Minister says 'we need more adaptable, efficient and effective support structures, better configured to enable our Armed Forces expeditionary operations' as the reason for yesterday's announcements.

“Well, that will not go down well with those who now face a bleak future especially as they have done the best to do the Government's previous bidding on efficiency and flexibility.”

Colchester MP Bob Russell added: “The ABRO has become more efficient, but the reward for the loyal, dedicated and skilled workers at Colchester ABRO is that the majority will lose their jobs.”

The job losses come amid the creation of the new Garrison base which got underway in May last year and is expected to be completed towards the end of 2008.

Mr Ingram's announcement in Parliament comes just 16 months since he marked the start of the Garrison redevelopment in the town by digging part of a trench for the new Garrison's Senior Non Commissioned Officers' Mess.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus