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

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn