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ALSTOM workers in Rugby were today assured their jobs were safe - for now - after the firm announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs across Europe.

Union chiefs believe Rugby should escape the axe following a meeting with management yesterday, Alstom said.

Tom Keogh, regional officer for the Amicus union, said Rugby jobs should be protected for 12 months because of plans for the town's plant to be taken over by the Siemens group. He said he did not know what would happen after that.

Yesterday's announcement said there would be job losses in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Switzerland. The cuts are to come from Alstom's Power Turbo-Systems division, which employs about 11,000 people.

The news comes after last month's announcement that the Rugby plant was to scrap 120 jobs in the summer, in addition to more than 200 redundancies announced last year.

Last month, the company conceded that a turnaround scheme had failed and announced plans to sell its profitable energy transmission and distribution division and industrial gas turbine business to prop up its balance sheet.

Alstom is struggling under debts of pounds 3.5 billion.

Mr Keogh, who represents 800 workers at the plant, said: "This is another blow for manufacturing industry."

Rugby borough councillor Chris Holman (Lib Dem, Caldecott), who worked at Alstom for 42 years, said: "I remember Alstom when it employed 13,000 and now it employs less than 2,000."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Apr 26, 2003
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