Socialist Worker

We face job cuts

Issue No. 1677

THOUSANDS of workers have learned this week that they will start the new century on the dole, as bosses sack them to boost profits and dividends. Workers in the privatised water industry are reeling after a string of job cut announcements in the last week.

  • Hyder, which operates Welsh Water and the Swalec electricity company, is to axe 1,000 jobs before April.

  • Pennon, which owns South West Water, is to axe 200 jobs.

  • Severn Trent water company plans 1,100 job cuts.

  • Kelda, which own Yorkshire Water, will cut 500 jobs.

    Water industry bosses have cut the workforce by half to 80,000 since privatisation ten years ago. But the gluttons in the City will have bulging wallets this Xmas.

  • Pennon raised its dividend by 4.8 percent as it announced job cuts.

  • Yorkshire Water's profits rose 4 percent to £122.2 million for the six months to September. Shareholders will get an 8.1 percent rise in dividends.

    One Severn Trent water worker told Socialist Worker after last week's job cuts and profits announcements, 'Tony Blair looks after directors and shareholders. Nobody is looking after the workers.' Other workers who face job cuts misery this Christmas include:

  • Over 3,000 workers who face the sack in the new year at Barmac's Nigg and Ardersier oil rig fabrication yards in the Scottish Highlands.

  • A staggering 2,500 health workers in one of Scotland's biggest health trusts face the axe. Tayside Hospital Trust has drawn up plans to slash the jobs in the Dundee area to balance its books by the end of the financial year in April.

  • Rolls Royce is to slash 1,000 jobs at its Derby plant, despite making record profits of £325 million last year and £159 million in the first six months of this year.

  • Over 200 steel workers are to be thrown on the dole as the Corus steel plant in Shelton near Stoke-on-Trent is to close.

  • Publisher Reed Elsevier is to sack hundreds of workers. 'We will be reducing the head count. We are probably talking hundreds,' said Reed boss Crispin Davis. Shares in the company rose on the announcement.

  • Some 600 workers at Grampian Country Food's Aberdeen pig processing plants face the dole in the new year.

  • Shares in the Macfarlane packaging company rose 9.4 percent last week on the back of an announcement of 150 job cuts.

    They get a bonus

    ARE YOU getting an Xmas bonus this year? If you are, you can be sure it will be nothing compared to the City of London fat cats' Xmas bonanza. Some top investment bankers and lawyers will get bonuses of £3 million. Around 1,000 bankers and other City advisers will receive £1 million to blow on Xmas goodies. The total value of bonuses to be declared this Xmas in the City is likely to top £1 billion.

  • Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

    Article information

    Sat 18 Dec 1999, 00:00 GMT
    Issue No. 1677
    Share this article

    Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.