Wednesday, 2 February 2011

I used to work there...

The company that I worked for up until last summer was in the news earlier in the week. They have decided to close the site I used to worked at - completely. Lock, stock and 2,400 jobs by the end of next year. I can't say I was surprised since 2003 we went through wave after wave of redundancies. They were knocking down old buildings, trying to sell off others, closed all manufacturing on the site in 2007 etc. In 2009 they "mothballed" the office block I was in at the time and shoe horned us into a newer building, with 20% less seats than people on the basis that "not everyone is in the office at once". The writing was frankly on the wall. Last year a few more of us went and one of my old colleagues left the day before the announcement.

With the government changing the earliest you could retire and take your occupational pension to 55 rather than 50 I was looking at 7 years holding on hoping to get to retirement. I felt that the chance of the site making it to 2017 was remote - sadly I was proved right this week. I am glad I made the decision to go when that opportunity presented itself last year now. If the age had stayed at 50 I'd be there now praying/begging to be on any of the final close down projects to ensure that I stayed on.

Anyway - it is interesting isn't it. There is a furore in the local press about the job losses. They keep quoting the 2400 figure. But I think to myself, some of those will relocate, there is an office in Surrey I expect some IT folk will go there. So I doubt all 2400 will leave the company, the majority yes but not all. Also some will doubtless go to the USA - they are scientists and wherever they go they'll have to move so some will go there. But there is little mention of the hoards of other jobs, cleaners, coffee shop staff, catering staff, gardeners, maintenance, security, etc. Must be hundreds of them who work for the contract companies not directly but their jobs are as affected as those directly employed. Clearly they will be lucky if the companies that bought the lucrative contracts there find them other work.

Sad day indeed for many more than the 2400.

I spent 19 years and 1 week working in that place so I can't say it isn't a big part of my life. I was very proud of the work we did there at times - it is no exaggeration to say that even though my part was small the work we all did there saved and improved thousands of peoples lives. I'll never see the like again.


  1. Gosh, how brilliant to have been a part of it.

    That's a lot of people out of work, poor things.

    You certainly made the right move though, and you seem to have had a great time ever since. Isn't it fab when things work out?


  2. bummer. Guess you still have friends there too. A worrying time for all. My place still looking iffy at the moment too. Spend my who life looking over my shoulder.


  3. Yes lots of good friends who are all clearly in a terrible position.

    @P - I know that feeling it was one of the reasons I wanted out, every so many months another re-org, another round of applying for new jobs or hoping that you are in the pool for the jobs left after the reductions etc. etc. It really wears you out and the productivity hits the floor every time

  4. Thats it, spot on. The only extra bonus we get is having to reapply for our oen jobs every time yet another re-org comes along. And they fully expect anyone who isnt sucessful to train the incoming person who just nabbed their job!

    You nailed it, very draining, & totally unproductive.