Bombardier won’t confirm impending layoffs

Bombardier Transportation declined Monday to confirm reports that it plans to announce up to 2,000 job losses among 3,000 workers employed at Britain’s lone rail car plant in Derby.

MONTREAL — Bombardier Transportation declined Monday to confirm reports that it plans to announce up to 2,000 job losses among 3,000 workers employed at Britain’s lone rail car plant in Derby.

The Berlin-based division of the transportation giant is reported to have called a news conference for Tuesday.

Spokesman Marc Laforge couldn’t confirm the event or provide any details of what might be announced. Only last week, he said the company was far from disclosing any layoff plan.

If there is an announcement Tuesday, it likely would be a redundancy plan giving employees 90 days to come up with alternatives to mitigate any layoffs, he said in an interview.

“We are working on a capacity plan . . . but I have nothing more than that.”

Several reports in Britain say the company will put plans in place to lay off up to two-thirds of the workforce at its railway manufacturing facility in central England.

Four of five rail contracts at the site will end by September and a consortium led by Bombardier recently lost a contract to supply 1,200 new Thameslink trains to rival Siemens.

The opposition Labour party has asked the coalition government to review naming the German rival as the preferred bidder. The government said it viewed the Siemens bid to be “the best value for money for taxpayers.”

Laforge denied that any company announcement is designed to put pressure on the government to award it the contract before the deal is finalized.

“We live with decisions and like anybody in that business, any competitors, we have to work accordingly with what we have in the backlog.”