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Railcare Wolverton and Springburn

6 August 2013

Yesterday TSSA attended a meeting at the Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The meeting was attended by TSSA, RMT and Unite. The meeting was also attended by the administrators BDO.

The Government department stated that they were shocked by the announcement from Railcare that they were now in administration as they had taken measures which included a tax payment holiday and short term loans from the ROSCO’s that they believed would keep the company afloat until it had recovered from its short term cash flow problem.

Clearly what actions they took were not enough and the company’s assets including its workforce are now in the hands of the administrators, effectively accountants.
 We understand that Jobcentre plus will be organising onsite meetings and would encourage members to attend these meetings where appropriate.

Both the Dept for BIS and BDO are hopeful that the company can be sold as an going concern. It appears the German-based company Knorr-Bremse who had spent a sizeable sum of money undertaking the “due diligence” had stepped back from the arrangement as they did not have long term confidence in the order book. However we believe they remain strong contenders to take over the business as we all continue to make representations over future profitability.

We are hopeful that some wages can be paid very soon to members as strong representations have been made that led to some encouragement. However this is in the hands of BDO. No definitive assurances can be made as yet.

The unions were collectively furious at the lack of consultation from BDO who steamed into this project with little regard for people or process. They will argue but for their actions the company may have found itself dissolved.

The TSSA made representations regarding contractual entitlements, staff travel and pensions and these matters are currently being explored by BDO.

A key date for members is September 29th which is when the next rent instalment to Alstom is due. We understand from BDO that they will be hoping to come to an agreement with Alstom on this matter.

If no obvious buyer comes forward in the next 3-4 weeks then BDO will consider a different strategy than its current one which we can only presume will be more ruthless than the current one.

Members who would like to raise any concerns can email Tony Wheeler on wheelert@tssa.org.uk. Check the TSSA website for updates.

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