|The torrent of job losses in the water industry has continued with the
announcement by Welsh Water group Hyder and South West Water of 1,200 job cuts.
said it would cut 1,000 jobs in its water and electricity operations by April, while
Pennon Group announced 200 cuts at its South West Water business.
Both companies said price control imposed by regulators had contributed to the cuts.
But union leaders said the flood of job cuts was designed to protect companies'
Transport and General Workers Union national officer Chris Kaufman said: "The
daily catalogue of job losses is turning into a grotesque new form of water torture.
"The victims are the water workers, communities, and the environment, while fat
profits in the main are protected.
"Serious questions must now be asked of a government which looks the other way as
jobs are sacrificed at the altar of shareholders' dividends."
The latest cuts follow the 400 job losses announced on Wednesday by Anglian Water, the
500 losses announced by Yorkshire Water on Tuesday, and 1,100 cuts announced by Severn
Trent last week.
Another water and energy group, United Utilities, is due to announce its half year
results on Friday - and unions fear the jobs toll in the utilities sector will rise higher
Hyder chief executive Graham Hawker said the group's 1,000 job losses would be spread
across all the company's divisions, with 350 already having been agreed with unions
earlier this year.
The remaining 650 jobs would be shed by the end of the group's financial year, and
would reduce the group's total workforce to about 4,200.
The Cardiff-based company runs both Welsh Water and the electricity business Swalec.