Opinion Former Article

Unite praises Derby County Football Club for supporting Bombardier workers

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has praised Derby County Football Club for supporting Bombardier, Britain's last train maker on the opening day of the Championship season on Saturday (6 August).

Children of Bombardier workers will be mascots for the game, against Birmingham City, and Bombardier workers will carry a huge banner on to the pitch.

Players will wear special shirts bearing the slogans Save Our Rail Industry and Derby United in the warm up to the game.

Derby manager Nigel Clough will dedicate his column in the programme on Saturday to the campaign to save jobs at Bombardier (see notes to editors).

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said:

"The people of Derby have good reason to be proud of their football club and of their city for the huge support they have shown for the workers at Bombardier.

"Their stadium deserves its name Pride Park. This is a great football club supporting a vital local employer.

"There is an overwhelming sense of outrage at the Government's decision to turn its back on Britain's last train maker. David Cameron is doing a disservice to a world class workforce, to Derby and to the future of train making in this country.

"It's time the Government stopped scoring own goals and backed UK workers."

In June, the government announced that the consortium led by Siemens had beaten Bombardier Transportation’s consortium to be the preferred bidder to build the 1,200 new carriage contract on the Thameslink route. Bombardier remains the reserve bidder for the contract. As a result 1,400 workers face redundancy and the future of Bombardier, the UK's last train maker is at risk along with a total of 3000 jobs and many more in the supply chain.

ENDS

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors

The Government’s decision to award the Thameslink project to Siemens instead of Bombardier is a potentially devastating blow the community in Derbyshire and the UK rail industry as a whole.

Bombardier, based in the heart of Derby, is the UK’s last train manufacture and one of our City’s biggest employers.

Aside the jobs directly affected at Bombardier there is a far bigger ripple effect on our area.

Derby also has the highest concentration of companies manufacturing train components in Europe, employing around 10,000 people.

But this issue goes far beyond facts, statistics and even a political debate regarding the entire bidding process.

It’s about people’s jobs, people’s lives and a community that would be left devastated if something isn’t done to reverse or correct this decision.

Thousands of families in Derby will be affected and it will touch all generations.

Not just the father or mother who works in the rail industry to support their family, but also the teenagers and young adults studying manufacturing, with the aim of one day joining the talented and specialized work force we have in this City.

There is no underestimating the impact this will have on our community; it is quite simply one of the biggest issues ever to affect this area and I speak as someone who has lived here for over forty years.

Derby County Football Club is not allied to any political party or ideological belief.

Our supporters back all and no political parties.

However we, as a Club, are whole heartedly supporting the campaign to make the Government think again about the Thameslink project.

The contract with Siemens won’t be signed until the end of the year so there is still time for Ministers to look again.

They should think again about the effect on UK rail and manufacturing jobs, as well as training and apprenticeships in this country.

The political arguments are for others to have; we are focused on what this means for our City and County and for the countless families affected by it.

Hopefully commonsense can prevail.

Nigel Clough
Derby County Football Club
 

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