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.