Opinion: Tale of two jobs bombshells
As the business community recovered from the shock of the collapse of Oadby builder Hallam Contracts last month, another 200 workers were being told they faced the axed elsewhere in the county, writes Business Editor Ian Griffin.
The fact the decision of military equipment manufacturer Thales to close its factory in Braunstone Frith, Leicester, was not widely known about until almost a week after it was announced to staff says a lot about the differences between the two companies. Hallam was a very well-known and respected company which had carried out many high-profile projects and worked with hundreds of local suppliers and sub-contractors.
French-owned Thales, on the other hand, preferred to stay out of the limelight as much as possible.
This is understandable given the fact it supplies radar and sonar equipment to armed forces worldwide and jointly owns a business with an Israeli company which creates unmanned military drones at the same site.
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The fact news of the closure did not leak out until some days afterwards is a reflection of this secretive and "on a need-to-know basis" culture.
The ramifications are perceived to not be as severe as the Hallam collapse.
The Thales closure is likely to be contained to the loss of around 200 skilled jobs at one factory unit.
Hallam's collapse may have led to half that number of redundancies, but its knock-on effect to the 300 sub-contractors who are owed £4 million, and only likely to get a fraction of that back, is going to be a lot more.
Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby believes the 205 job losses at Thales can be more than offset by the creation of skilled positions as part of his Leicester economic action plan.
As Thales' senior management host their Christmas party in London's Covent Garden, events in Leicestershire are likely to be far from their mind. The same cannot be said of those creditors left struggling by Hallam's failure.