Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:09 UK

Jarvis staff face 1,100 job cuts

Rail maintenance
The rail maintenance firm went into administration last week

About 1,100 jobs are to be cut at Jarvis by the administrators who are now running the rail maintenance firm.

Deloitte said that in the absence of further funding, it was not possible to continue operating parts of the group.

The redundancies will affect staff at the head office in York, as well as in Doncaster, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle and Peterborough.

Only the facilities management part of the group will continue trading as normal, a statement said.

There has been "a significant amount of interest" in this business, Jarvis Accommodation Services, Deloitte said.

The move means that Jarvis Rail, which is involved in rail engineering, and Fastline, which supplies rail repair equipment, will cease operating.

Last week Jarvis, which employed 2,000 people, called in administrators after bank lenders refused further credit.

'Urgent meeting'

Rail unions blamed spending cuts by Network Rail, Jarvis's biggest customer, for the company's troubles.

Last year Jarvis's chairman, Steven Norris, the former Conservative MP, warned that the cuts were starting to hurt.

Stan Herschel, regional organiser at the RMT union, said that talks with Network Rail that would have enabled the staff to continue rail renewal work had broken down over the past few days.

Mr Herschel told the BBC: "It is not as if extra money were needed. The contracts and the money for the work is already in place.

We did not push Jarvis into administration
Network Rail spokesman

"We asked that Network Rail simply pay on time and underwrite the future work while Deloitte looks at the Jarvis business. If we don't do the work, someone else has to.

"The work must be done. It's a safety issue. The majority of the money Network Rail is spending on rail maintenance is, after all, taxpayers'." Mr Herschel said.

He said the RMT leadership was seeking an urgent meeting with Lord Adonis, the Transport Minister.

'Skills lost'

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said: "Yet again, the pain brought about by the cuts programme being pursued by Network Rail is felt by rail workers.

"The government should have long since intervened to stop Network Rail from laying waste to our rail industry. Unfortunately they haven't and nothing has been done to safeguard any of the jobs or skills lost."

But Network Rail rejected the criticism. "We did not push Jarvis into administration. We are not responsible for their problems," said a spokesman.

He added: "The maintenance work will be done, no question of that. It just might not be done by Jarvis. We have half a dozen similar contractors, and have no problem with them." Other contractors include Babcock and Balfour Beatty.

Network Rail is involved in a bitter industrial dispute with the RMT, with a strike planned for next week.

Jarvis came close to collapse in 2004 after running up huge debts on over-ambitious bids for Private Finance Initiative contracts.

The company had sold off several operations to concentrate on rail maintenance, leaving Network Rail as by far its biggest customer.

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The Independent Winding-up of Jarvis puts 1,100 out of work - 8 hrs ago Jobs axed at rail maintenance firm - 20 hrs ago
Telegraph Jarvis axes 1,100 jobs - 20 hrs ago
Sky News 1,100 People To Lose Jobs At Ailing Jarvis - 21 hrs ago
Times Online Jarvis axes 1,100 jobs after rescue hopes fade - 22 hrs ago

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