Union warms to rail link

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REPRESENTATIVES of the General Municipal and Boilermakers' Union will sit on the supervisory board of a consortium bidding to build the Channel tunnel rail link if the GMB decides to invest in the project, writes David Bowen.

The GMB executive, led by general secretary John Edmonds, is expected to give the go-ahead next weekend to an injection of pounds 300,000 to pounds 400,000, following a suggestion by a German-dominated consortium that it should join.

The group is led by Hochtief and includes Siemens and Costain, the British construction group that approached the GMB. A GMB spokesman said it was attracted because its experience on the Channel tunnel suggested that employee involvement was valuable, and because it wanted to move closer to Europe.

'This union has always taken a pro-active attitude to Europe,' he said. 'The financial aspects are of minimal importance, although we wouldn't put any money in if we didn't think it was a safe bet.' He said it was common for German unions to put money into projects in which they were involved.

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