RMT wants Crossrail carriages to be constructed by Bombardier in Derby

Tim Lezard

CrossrailThe RMT has challenged London Mayor Boris Johnson to support a union-led campaign for the Crossrail fleet to be built in Britain.

The union warns the alternative is to face the kind of delays that have dogged plans to build the Thameslink trains in Germany, a scandal which has dragged back the national fleet replacement programme by three years.

Last week, TFL and the DFT confirmed that the Crossrail fleet will be wholly procured by the cheaper and more efficient route of public financing, an open recognition that the public/private finance model is unable to deliver on time and on price.

Now, RMT is calling on the mayor and his officials to back a campaign to ensure that the publicly-financed trains are built at Bombardier in Derby – protecting and creating up to 10,000 jobs in the plant and in the supply chain and giving a future to train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Although RMT welcomes the belated recognition of the two-year disaster on the Thameslink/Siemens fleet deal, and the recognition that private/public partnerships are an expensive gamble doomed to failure, there now needs to be top-level pressure to ensure that the Crossrail fleet, publicly funded, is built here in Britain.

“The public would be disgusted to find that their money is being used to underpin a German corporate giant like Siemens while 10,000 skilled manufacturing jobs in the East Midlands and beyond are on the block.

“As Chair of TFL, Mayor Boris Johnson should come out clearly now and say publicly that he is backing the campaign for the Crossrail fleet to be built in Britain and that means at the plant in Derby. Boris Johnson is forever saying how we shouldn’t be bending the knee to Brussels, well now he’s got a chance to walk the talk by backing RMT’s fight to protect skilled manufacturing jobs here in Britain and at the same time ensure that the Crossrail fleet is delivered on time unlike the drawn-out Thameslink shambles.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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