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Cameron vows action after Bombardier talks


Monday 25th July 2011 (Andrew Griffiths)

‘CHANGE your decision or bring forward any future contracts for Bombardier’

That was the ultimatum given to the Prime Minister by Burton’s and South Derbyshire’s MPs when they held a crisis meeting over the Derby-based train maker in London.

Andrew Griffiths and South Derbyshire’s MP Heather Wheeler joined four other Derbyshire MPs for a meeting with David Cameron to put forward two options designed to save the UK’s only train-making business.

The firm lost its bid for the £1.4 billion Thameslink contract to German company Siemens, leaving many workers who commute to Derby from Burton and South Derbyshire under threat of redundancy.

Bombardier is shedding 1,400 jobs after the controversial decision made by the coalition Government.

As revealed in the Mail in December last year, 120 Bombardier staff working in back-office functions have moved to The Maltsters in Wetmore Road, Burton.

The train giant confirmed that the 1,429 job losses announced would not affect the staff based in Burton, but could not rule out more job losses further down the line.

Meanwhile, South Derbyshire District Council leader Bob Wheeler will ask Transport Secretary Philip Hammond to help the firm following the news.

Following the crisis meeting, Mr Cameron agreed to take the matter to his officials and report back to the MPs.

Mr Griffiths said: “We asked him to reconsider the awarding of the contract to Siemens, which is putting Bombardier in a difficult position.

We asked him to consider two options: to look at what can be done to reopen the procurement process to allow Bombardier to bid properly, and to bring forward any other contracts coming up in the future, including London’s Tube extension, in order to allow Bombardier to have a chance of bidding and keep jobs in place.We asked him to consider two options: to look at what can be done to reopen the procurement process to allow Bombardier to bid properly, and to bring forward any other contracts coming up in the future, including London’s Tube extension, in order to allow Bombardier to have a chance of bidding and keep jobs in place.

“The Prime Minister said he recognises the need to support manufacturing in the UK. He is just as disappointed as we are that they missed out on the contract, and will look to see what he can do.”

Mrs Wheeler said: “One of the problems is that Siemens is an AA-rated company where as Bombardier isn’t. It would have cost Bombardier more for their 30-year contract.

“It was a fantastic meeting. Mr Cameron hopes to get together with the transport and treasury departments and Transport for London and he is hopeful on the outcome.”

Bombardier is now in a 90-consultation with workers about the job losses.

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