Unite, Britain's biggest union, has welcomed the announcement of a £1.2 billion contract for new 140mph trains with 270 carriages to be manufactured in Britain by Hitachi Rail, Europe.
The trains will be assembled at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham - where Unite has members - creating around 730 skilled jobs with a further 200 jobs during construction of the factory. The contract will also secure thousands more jobs in the UK supply chain.
Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said:"Clearly new jobs in an area suffering from high unemployment is really good news but most of the credit should go to Labour. This deal to create these jobs was all but signed, sealed and delivered under the last government. We welcome the present government's decision to proceed but it comes after delays and a total shambles because of the decision not to award the Thameslink contract to Bombardier."
Commenting on the forthcoming Crossrail contract Diana Holland continued: "If the government wants to prove itself as really being on the side of British manufacturing then there must be a fair and transparent bidding process for the Crossrail contract. We are not asking for favours, we are asking for fairness for British based manufacturing and the supply chain. The government must take the social and economic impact of its decisions into account and keep an eye on the wider industrial strategy, which is allowed under EU rules."
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
- 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.