|Yorkshire Water is to axe 500 jobs during the next year in a move to cut
costs after watchdogs ordered water companies to reduce household bills.
has already announced the loss of 1,100 jobs and other water companies are expected to
follow suit after the Ofwat regulator demanded a 12 per cent cut in the average bill by
A spokesman for Yorkshire Water's owners, Kelda, said the jobs would be shed from
all divisions of the company.
Unions are angry that shareholders' profits are being put before jobs and have called
on environment minister Michael Meacher to intervene.
Chris Kaufman, of the Transport and General Workers Union, said: "The trickle of
job losses is now growing into a flood. It is clear that water companies are choosing to
protect shareholders rather than jobs and the environment."
Kelda chairman, Brandon Gough, said Yorkshire Water was ready to meet the Ofwat
efficiency demands: "The targets set are challenging but achievable and we have
decided to accept the outcome."
Kelda employs 2,700 water workers and the job cuts coincided with a jump in half-yearly
profits and dividends for shareholders.
Pre-tax profits in the six months to September 30 were £122.2 million compared to
£117.6 million at the same stage last year.