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8 August 2017
RMT Press Office:
RAIL UNION RMT welcomes news that following pressure from the union Babcock has now agreed to meet Welsh Government ministers to look at “all sensible and appropriate alternatives” in the wake of their recent announcement of the proposed closure of their Newport Rail depot, which is currently putting 31 jobs at risk in Wales.
The news comes after a recent tri-partite meeting with RMT and Network Rail and pressure from Welsh Assembly Members.
Under the original proposals Babcock intends to move work out of Wales to England to facilitate the Newport depot closure. Workers from the Midlands and Bristol will then need to travel to Wales to carry out the company’s railway contracts there. These jobs are skilled specialist railway jobs giving good skilled employment in a low employment area – recent work carried out from this depot in the Cambrians and on the Ebbw Vale line has been highly praised.
In addition to the loss of the depot the move would undermine jobs with good RMT negotiated terms and conditions and replace them with much lower paid contractors. This casualization of the work will inevitably mean less safety for the workers.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The Welsh Government now has a golden opportunity to work with Babcock to keep this depot open to allow these much needed jobs to remain in Wales.
“It was announced recently that the Welsh Government successfully negotiated Spanish train builders CAF to set up in Newport with Welsh Government financial assistance and Babcock Rail workers are looking for similar support.
“RMT wants to thanks John Griffiths AM Newport East and other AM's for their support which has ultimately led to the Managing Director reconsidering the closure.”