Theresa Villiers 'dashed Bombardier train deal hopes'

 

A government minister was today accused of dashing hopes of saving thousands of jobs after refusing to change a controversial decision to award a lucrative train-building contract to a German firm.

Bombardier has warned that the loss of the £1.4 billion contract to build trains for the Thameslink route will cost 1,400 jobs at its Derby factory, sparking a union campaign to reverse the decision.

Transport minister Theresa Villiers raised hopes among workers when she visited the plant today - but she said there was "no option" to award the work to Bombardier.

Unite national officer Julia Long said: "The workers at Derby thought they might get some good news when they heard Theresa Villiers was going to visit. Instead she raised their hopes and then dashed them in the run-up to Christmas.

"It was extremely frustrating, as she gave no guarantees of new work, she only covered the same old ground the Government has been going over for months. The workers here are very disappointed."

Ken Usher from the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said after meeting the minister: "We are bitterly disappointed to say the least. She has let us all down - but our campaign will continue."

Bombardier was given some good news today when it was awarded a three-year contract worth more than £15 million by ScotRail, covering operational support and supplies for its Class 170 Turbostar fleet of 177 vehicles, although it will not lead to any new jobs.

Des McKeon, commercial director at Bombardier Transportation, said: "This is a significant win for Bombardier as it maintains our involvement in the maintenance of ScotRail's Turbostar fleet and builds on the diverse portfolio of contracts Bombardier has with FirstGroup, one of our key strategic customers."

Ms Villiers said: "I very much welcomed the participation of Bombardier management and staff, the unions, supply chain representatives, local councillors and MPs in my visit to Derby today.

"I recognise how controversial the Thameslink decision was but we are legally bound by the criteria set by the previous government. There is no option open to us which would enable us to ignore the result of the competition and hand the contract to Bombardier.

"Going forward, however, there are other projects which could potentially help secure jobs in Derby. A review of public procurement is also under way, examining whether the UK is making best use of the application of the EU rules, while continuing to ensure that all bids are judged on a fair and level playing field. The conclusions of that review will be taken into account in the procurement of the new Crossrail rolling stock."

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "It's a scandal that Theresa Villiers has travelled all the way to Derby to do nothing other than confirm the death sentence hanging over UK train building and the thousands of jobs at Bombardier and in the supply chain.

"The Thameslink fleet contract still isn't signed off and is bogged down in the turmoil of the global markets and today would have been a golden opportunity to end that shambles and kick-start production at the Derby plant which is geared up and ready to go."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture