Welsh Water sheds another 230 jobs

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The Independent Online
WELSH WATER will cut 230 jobs by next April and lose a further 180 over the next two years, making a total of 550 redundant by 1997. It will make a provision of pounds 17m this year to cover the costs.

Savings, once the programme is complete, are expected to be pounds 8m a year.

The jobs to go include those of secretaries, engineers and managers. Agreement has already been reached with the 230 workers. This year's cuts follow the departure of 140 staff last year. The number of employees will have shrunk to 2,600 by 1997, compared with 3,500 when the company was privatised in 1989. Welsh Water has an agreement with unions that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Analysts have been predicting that thousands of jobs will go in the water industry as a result of the tougher price controls, announced last week by the industry regulator, which take effect next April. Some companies had announced cuts in anticipation of the controls.

In June, Anglian Water said it would make 900 redundancies, almost 20 per cent of the workforce. Yorkshire Water has also said that a minimum of 400 of its workforce of about 2,800 would go but has given no timetable.

The water industry employs about 39,000 people and there have been few redundancies since privatisation as price controls allowed bills to soar ahead of inflation.