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Groups to protest over train deal

Workers, union officials and councillors will travel to London this week to stage a series of protests against the Government's controversial decision to award a lucrative train-building contract to German firm Siemens.

Derby-based Bombardier is to cut 1,400 jobs after missing out on the contract to build trains for the Thameslink route, leading to a campaign aimed at persuading the Government to change its mind.

A huge delegation will travel by train from Derby to London on Wednesday to watch a hearing by the Commons Transport Select Committee into the controversy.

Unions have been pressing ministers to reverse the decision because of the impact on jobs in the East Midlands but the Government has refused.

Unite official Tony Woodley said: "The people of Derby, regardless of politics, will be speaking with one voice to deliver a clear message to David Cameron. There is still time and the Government must revisit its disastrous decision not to award Bombardier the Thameslink contract.

"The Government seems to be more interested in saving face than saving Bombardier. It's time to do the right thing. Around 3,000 jobs at Bombardier are at risk as well as thousands more in the supply chain. The country is teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession. When the Government can intervene to protect UK jobs and skills it has a duty to do so."

Rail, Maritime and Transport union leader Bob Crow said: "No doubt the Government were hoping that the Bombardier jobs campaign would have faded away as ministers sipped chilled wine in their summer retreats. In fact, the campaign has gone from strength to strength and we will be stepping it up around the Transport Committee and in advance of the party conference season.

"The fight to defend train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world, in the teeth of Government inaction and EU diktat, remains well and truly on."


From Belfast Telegraph