23 January 2016
RMT Press Office:
RAIL UNION BOSS MICK CASH ATTACKS 'SCANDALOUS' FOREIGN TRAIN CONTRACT.
Unions have branded a decision to hand a £490 million train building contract to Spain a "kick in the teeth".
Bombardier's Derby operation was reportedly bidding for the deal to provide 281 vehicles to Arriva Rail North but has lost out to rolling stock manufacturer CAF.
The Spanish company is expected to submit tenders for other UK contracts including the High Speed 2 rail link between London and the north.
Arriva said the 100mph trains will "transform" travel for passengers in the north of England and insisted the CAF contract was the best value. The new fleet of electric and diesel trains will replace the "outdated, unpopular" Pacers currently in use, the company claimed as it attempted to spin it's way out of this latest scandal.
RMT has dismissed those claims as "the usual empty promises from a greedy train company who continue to threaten to axe safety-critical staff from their services".
As it emerged this morning that Bombardier in Derby, Britain's last train builder, was shortlisted for the contract but were snubbed by the German-owned Arriva, RMT demanded that the Government step in to secure the long term future of the plant and the thousands of jobs it supports.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
"This is yet another kick in the teeth for train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world.
"At a time when manufacturing jobs and the steel industry in Britain are under the cosh it is nothing short of scandalous that this contract has been sent overseas."