1 April 2020

Responding to Wabtec's announcement that it intends to close its rail refurbishment facility at Kilmarnock, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: "The fight starts today to save Wabtec's Kilmarnock works and these vital manufacturing jobs.

"Following the closure of the Caley works in Springburn, Scotland's railway infrastructure now faces the prospect of losing yet another vital strategic asset. It was a disgrace that the Scottish Government allowed the Caley to close, and it needs to act now to prevent the closure of Wabtec Kilmarnock.

"SNP ministers used the continued operation of Wabtec at Kilmarnock as part of a series of excuses to justify their failure to step in and save the Caley. They hailed the offer of up to 100 jobs at Kilmarnock for former Caley workers. Now some of Scotland's most skilled industrial workers face the prospect of being laid off twice in less than a year.

"Scottish Labour will fight tooth and nail to save these jobs and this vital facility. We hope MSPs and campaigners from across the political spectrum and the public realm will join us in standing with the workers at Kilmarnock."

Scottish Labour transport spokesperson Colin Smyth has written to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson calling for ministers to support trade unions in their campaign against the closure.

"The company should be held fully accountable for their decision to seek to walk away from Scotland when they have benefited from major contracts at Scottish taxpayers expense," Mr Smyth writes.

"If it is not possible to prevent Wabtec from moving forward their their plans, the Scottish Government must start preparing contingency plans now to protect these jobs at this site."
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