Business secretary Vince Cable has been asked to step in to arrange a short-term bridging loan to secure the immediate future of the 500-strong highly skilled workforce at Railcare.
Unite, the country’s largest union, and the RMT union wrote to Vince Cable today (Thursday 1 August) urging him to encourage the banks and rolling stock companies to provide short-term loan facilities, as the administrator of Railcare is poised to make 170 employees redundant today.
The unions say that the company has a healthy order book, but that takeover talks broke down last week. This has meant the workers at the plants in Wolverton (Milton Keynes) and Springburn, Glasgow have not been paid and the administrator has been called in.
In the Unite/RMT letter, Unite national officer for the rail industry Julia Long and RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “However, some hope persists of a takeover which would save employment, pay and the order book.
“Therefore, we are seeking support and assistance from the government in securing a short-term bridging loan or other form of financial support to the company to help meet the £600,000 monthly wage bill.”
Julia Long commented: “It is a disgrace that the Department for Business turned down the company’s initial request for financial help. These are highly skilled jobs which are at stake – just the kind that the UK needs to secure its future industrial base.
“This is in stark contrast to the tens of millions of pounds that the government showers, like confetti, on the private rail companies in the form of compensation payments and generous franchise arrangements.
“A total of 500 jobs could be lost – and we can’t afford to lose such a dedicated workforce.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.