Jobs to go at army engineering workshop

CUTBACKS within the Ministry of Defence's engineering arm will see more than 26 job losses in East Anglia.Defence Minister John Reid has ordered the Army Base Repair Organisation to shave £8.

By Juliette Maxam

CUTBACKS within the Ministry of Defence's engineering arm will see more than 26 job losses in East Anglia.

Defence Minister John Reid has ordered the Army Base Repair Organisation to shave £8.3 million off its spending.

In total 388 civilian posts will go at workshops around the country, which will mean up to 246 redundancies.


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The Colchester workshop, where generators and four-tonne trucks are overhauled and repaired, will see 26.5 jobs lost. The workforce at the workshop, in Flagstaff Road, is currently about 185.

Colchester MP Bob Russell learnt of the job cuts at Colchester in a letter from Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram.

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Mr Reid, in a Ministerial Statement, said: "We are doing everything possible to mitigate the impact on the people affected by these announcements.

"Our current plans envisage the majority of civilian reductions will be achieved through a combination of natural wastage and voluntary early release but some compulsory redundancies may prove necessary.

"There will be no redundancies from the Armed Forces.

"Staff and the trade unions are being kept fully informed of developments through meetings, briefings and formal consultation."

Mr Russell accused the MoD of "sneaking out the news" by issuing it in a Written Ministerial Statement just hours before Parliament rose for the summer recess.

He said: "I received a letter in my pigeon hole from Defence Minister Adam Ingram and buried among 65 written Ministerial Statements placed in the library I found a general reference to almost 250 ABRO jobs cuts across the country but no specific reference to Colchester.

"In his letter to me, Mr Ingram informed me of the proposed loss of 26 jobs at Colchester ABRO. I am appalled at the way in which the announcement was sneaked out – but even more appalled at the loss of the jobs."

He said he would contact ABRO to see what help he could give during the consultation period relating to the restructuring of the organisation in the hope that the loss of jobs in Colchester can be avoided.

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