9 February 2021
RMT Press Office:
RMT launches SAVE EUROSTAR campaign and warns that political stand off puts the vital rail link at risk.
RAIL UNION RMT today launched a formal campaign to SAVE EUROSTAR as fear grows that a political stand off at national government level risks leaving the future of the vital green link to the continent under threat as the service is denied the emergency funding it needs to get through the current lockdown.
RMT will be stepping up political campaigning and pressure and has launched a petition aimed at Transport Secretary Grant Shapps which says;
“RMT is calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to urgently agree assistance for Eurostar, which, like other transport operators, has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, but which has not yet received any support from the UK Government.
“Like other rail companies and transport operators, Eurostar has been significantly impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with passenger numbers and revenue at a fraction of pre-Covid levels.
“The Eurostar provides a vital, low carbon, link between the UK and mainland Europe, and will be essential to the UK’s green economic recovery from Covid-19. Eurostar is a UK-registered company with its head office in London and the company supports over 3000 UK jobs. It would be disastrous, economically and environmentally, if the service were not protected.
“Eurostar is part owned by the French state owned operator SNCF, and it has received over £200m in support from shareholders during the pandemic. However, given that it is likely to be some time before passenger numbers return to pre-Covid levels, it needs further assistance to ensure it can survive during the pandemic.
“Unlike other transport operators, including airlines, Eurostar has not yet received any Covid-19 state support from the UK Government.
“RMT is calling on the UK Government to urgently agree to work with Eurostar and engage in coordinated action to protect the collapse of this vital transport link and ensure that thousands of UK jobs are protected.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"Nobody should be under any doubt that the future of Eurostar, and the thousands of jobs that it supports, is threatened by the current stand off.
“It is essential that Governments, including the British Government, make the emergency funding available to bridge a way through this current lockdown and ensure that Eurostar is there, fighting fit, to help the economy punch its way out of this crisis and provide the essential green rail links to the continent. “