Union calls for urgent action to save jobs after Alstom stops production in Derby

201123 ALSTOM LETTER - ITV News Central - LDRS - Ellen Knight

Union leaders have made urgent calls for help to secure thousands of jobs at the UK’s biggest rail assembly site after production lines stopped because of a lack of orders.

Alstom said after 10 months of discussions with the Government over work for its Derby site, it had run out of time.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite will not stand by while the Government puts thousands of jobs at risk.

“There is a huge amount of work that Alstom could and should be bidding for, but the Government are simply not tendering for it and do not seem to care.

“Alstom and the Government now need to stop endlessly procrastinating and just get on and sign the contracts to ensure the security of thousands of highly skilled workers.

“If their inaction does lead to job cuts, the responsible people will be held to account personally."

Unite regional secretary Paresh Patel added: “Less talk and more action from both Alstom and the Government is needed to secure Alstom Rail in Derby.

“They both need to get their heads together to secure Derby rail and the thousands of jobs dependent upon this employer.

“Our members have had enough of quick sound bites and jam tomorrow – there is a deal on the table that can and must be secured.

“Thousands of jobs depend upon it and both the national and regional economies will benefit from it.“

A spokesperson for Alstom said: “We have worked constructively with the Government on securing a sustainable future for Derby Litchurch Lane, but after 10 months of discussions we have run out of time, and the production lines have stopped.

“We will now consult with our staff, with trades unions and with our UK supply chain to provide as much certainty as we can.”

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh, said: “This news will be devastating for Alstom employees, for Derby, and for Britain’s rail industry.

“The Transport Secretary has had months to find a solution to prevent these job losses.

“It is clear he has failed to treat this situation with the urgency it deserves and has questions to answer on why he has failed to deliver on agreements to act to plug gaps in order schedules.

“Our rail industry needs certainty, stability and leadership; under this Conservative Government it has had none of these things, and avoidable job losses are the result.

“Britain was the country that created the railways, but that legacy is being trashed by a Conservative Government that is content to oversee its managed decline.”

The site employs around 3,000 people directly, with thousands more at risk in supply chains.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Rail manufacturing plays an important role in growing the UK economy and delivering better services for passengers.

"The Government is committed to supporting the entire sector and we remain in close contact with Alstom to secure a sustainable future for rail manufacturing at Derby.”