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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
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

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?