Unite the Union

Unite the Union

November 09, 2007 05:39 ET

Campaign to Build Trains for the UK in the UK moves Forward

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2007) - Unite's campaign for "Trains to be built in UK" took a step forward today following a meeting Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport.

Ruth Kelly has agreed to discuss the issues raised by UNITE with ministerial colleagues.

In 2008 the government will award a number of contracts for a new generation of trains, the first being "Intercity Express Programme" which is the replacement for the ageing "High Speed Trains" fleet, this massive contract for a new generation of trains, includes a "hybrid" electric/diesel train.

Bob Rixham Unite National Officer for Railways said

" Today's meeting follows a successful meeting with John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business enterprise and Regulatory Reform. We were encouraged by the approach the new secretary of state seems to be taking."

"Without a change in government policy, train building in the UK faces an uncertain future. The industry suffers from the absence of a long term procurement policy that would help resolve the feast or Famine order book that has blighted the industry."

Tripartite meetings involving the union, employers and the government are to be held with Unite seeking solutions to the ongoing order book problems and a mechanism for the long term security of UK train building and the highly skilled and dedicated workforce.

Derby based Bombardier are the only remaining train builder in the UK, should Bombardier not win this contract against French and Japanese competition, UK train manufacturing would face an uncertain future.

Notes to editor

Unite says that a UK procurement strategy that supports the UK defence industry, the Defence Industrial Strategy has helped create a leading industry and secured thousands of skilled UK workers jobs. The MoDs procurement programme of new ships for the Royal Navy has also secured in the region of 7,000 jobs in the sector and secured many more including at least 140,000 jobs in the supply chain. Unite want the Government to do the same with train building for the UK in the UK

Fewer than three million people are now employed in manufacturing in the UK compared with 4.2 million just ten years ago.

Contact Information

  • Brian Gallagher
    Ciaran Naidoo
    0207 420 8900
    Bob Rixham