Britain must accept Bombardier's contract miss, says German rival


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The Independent Online

Siemens has broken its silence over the £1.4bn Thameslink trains contract, which the German giant won last year to much criticism that British jobs would be put at risk.

Juergen Maier, managing director of Siemens Industry UK, told The Independent that media coverage had been "biased", that 2,000 British jobs would be created, and that rival Bombardier should accept that this is "a competitive world".

Bombardier announced a review of its UK operations in the wake of the contract defeat last summer. It did not rule out closing its plant in Derby, putting 1,600 jobs at risk on top of 1,400 already lost as a result of missing out on building trains for the Brighton-to-Bedford rail link.

Bombardier has kept Derby in the spotlight, just last week showing the Prince of Wales around the plant. Unions have been vocal in their criticisms, and the Government has reviewed the £1bn Crossrail train contract to ensure greater guarantees to the British workforce are included in the deal.

But Siemens – which has been in the UK since 1843 and employs 13,000 here – believes criticism it has received is unfair. Mr Maier said: "There isn't any consideration of the amount of employment [Siemens has] created. We live in a competitive world – there will be a winner and a loser. When you lose, the right behaviour is to get on with it and win the next contract."