March unites industry in Derby

Even the local football club has come down on the side of railway workers at Litchurch Lane in Derby – threatened with closure when the Thameslink train building contract was batted oversees to Siemens in Germany.

Derby County players sported ‘Save Our Rail Industry’ shirts and children of Bombardier workers were special guests at the match against Birmingham.

Says Derby County boss Nigel Clough, “We support the campaign to make the Government think again. The contract won’t be signed off until the end of the year, so there is still time to make a change. I hope common sense prevails.”

Over 6000 people gathered in Derby to march in support of the threatened railway works – the last train builders in Britain.

Managers, trade unionists, eurosceptics and railway staff joined together to march through the streets in a strong show of support. Bombardier’s UK chairman, Colin Walton, spoke at the event urging a rethink.

Local MP Margaret Beckett said, “Blame us for the tender process. Then (let the government) take the credit for changing its mind. I don’t care. Just do the right thing.”

Although David Cameron and the coalition government have said they cannot change the outcome of the tender process railway staff and supporters remain unconvinced.

Says RMT General Secretary Bob Crow, “The campaign to save Bombardier is gathering momentum by the day and if the Government thought we would go away quietly then they seriously underestimated our determination to get this bad decision over-turned.

“We welcome the fantastic support of Nigel Clough and Derby County which gives the campaign a massive boost. The fight to save Bombardier and train building in the UK is well and truly on.”

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey is also right behind the protests.

“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.


  1. Bombardier Vs Siemens
    I must admit, I actually felt sick when I read the below paragraphs on the Siemens website, knowing just how corrupt and linked to German intelligence Siemens actually is! It must be noted before reading, that Siemens systems copy everything on hard-drive, and a Siemens employee visits each site monthly, ‘clears the hard-drive’ and takes the data away. Siemens were stealing this info from Royal Mail for example, and giving details of all post in the UK to Deutsche Post (think about it). Also note, that the Edinburgh tram waste of £500m was by Bilfinger Berger/Siemens. “Siemens Traffic Controls’ technology has been selected by Transport for London (TfL) for the world’s largest Low Emission Zone. This scheme, due to be launched in 2008, is the first of its kind in the UK and the largest in the world. It aims to discourage the use of the most polluting lorries, coaches and buses to improve air quality and health across the capital. Siemens will supply and operate the system, which involves installing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at 75 different sites around London to capture details of an estimated four million number plates every day. Siemens Business Services is awarded an £18 million contract by the Office for National Statistics to digitise 250 million birth, marriage and death certificates from 1837 to the present day. (Seriously!!!!) The UK Passport Service awards Siemens Business Services a £6.3 million contract for an IT solution that will let people make passport applications online from 2005.” Just a slight risk to national security there.   In April 2005, the Mail on Sunday Newspaper reported that Gordon Brown met with Alan Wood, Siemens’ UK chief executive, who gave his view on why UK companies seemed to fail in securing lucrative contracts on the continent.

    Siemens itself, however, has made regular appearances in the Press, as well as in courtrooms, in connection with allegations of bribery and corruption.

    Siemens is currently involved in a large number of other PFI contracts across the UK. But from January 1st 2006, as a result of Article 45 of the EC’s public procurement Directive, UK contracting authorities will be required to take account of a company’s corruption track record and exclude companies found guilty of corruption from public contracts. How has the British Government not applied this corruption, when Siemens has paid out E1.3 BN in bribes between 2000 and 2006?

    GERMANY: Anonymous allegations were made against Siemens for ‘bribery, preferential treatment and unacceptable agreements’ in an E6 billion contract for the German Ministry of Defence. In the 2004 German affair over MNCs financing politicians, it was revealed that Siemens paid E60,000 per year to the MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Research Committee, Deputy Regional Chairwoman of Northrine-Westphalia and FDP member Ulrike Flach (it was claimed these payments were in exchange for her translation work for Siemens).  GERMANY: In 2009 a former associate of the Austrian Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter-Terrorism (BVT) in Vienna was appointed the head of the Siemens security department. Next, there were allegations that Gert-René Polli leaked a strictly confidential dossier of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to Iranian authorities. The Prosecutor’s Office in Vienna is conducting investiations over charges of betrayal of secrets. Siemens also supply mobile communications spying equipment, foe the Iranian regime to spy on it’s citizens.

    ITALY: In April 2004, an Italian judge banned Siemens from taking part in any public tenders in Italy for a year following an investigation into alleged bribes made by Siemens to Italian utility company Enel. Siemens was accused of paying £4 million in bribes to Enel executives for a gas turbines contract. Subsequently, the ban was limited to gas turbine contracts.

    RUSSIA: In April 2005 the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that two former employees went public with allegations that Siemens regularly paid bribes in order to win public contracts. The allegations are supported by affidavits and internal Siemens documents and concern events that took place throughout the 1990s. According to Mr. Papernick Siemens secured a £20 million contract in 1999, with an alleged £4.5 million kickback, to supply equipment to the Bourdenko Institute of Neurosurgery in Moscow. The whistleblower alleges that this contract was dropped in 2000 as Siemens prepared to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and feared it could be vulnerable under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Michael Kutschenreuter, the former financial head of Siemens’ telecommunications unit, was found guilty in 2010 of breach of trust and abetting bribery.Kutschenreuter, 55, is the most senior Siemens executive found guilty of corruption so far. He was placed on probation for two years and fined 160,000 euros ($215,300) after admitting that he had covered up slush funds and bribes paid by his employees.The other defendant, Hans-Werner Hartmann, who was in charge of accounting at the company’s telecommunications arm, was placed on probation for 18 months and fined 40,000 euros. According to prosecutors, the funds were used to bribe government officials and business contacts to win lucrative contracts in Russia and Nigeria.
    SINGAPORE: In 1996, Siemens and a number of other multinational corporations were debarred for five years from Singapore government contracts. A consultant working for those multinational corporations allegedly bribed the Chief Executive of the Public Utilities Board.

    SLOVAKIA: In 2001 Siemens was alleged to have offered SKK 1.5 million to the Chair of a tender commission concerning a large IT contract for the Slovak Treasury. However, Siemens Business Services successfully appealed in April 2002 and was able to re-enter bidding for an IT contract in the Slovak Treasury.

    SPAIN: In 2001 Spanish judges suggested that Siemens was involved in money laundering, corruption and party financing amounting to DM 19 million in connection with the construction of the Ave rapid rail link between Madrid and Seville. USA: In December 2008, Siemens agreed to pay $800 million to settle a U.S investigation of allegations it used bribes for years to win contracts. ARGENTINA: 2008 – According to a recent lawsuit, an Argentine Governement investigator uncovered evidence of bribes and kickbacks related to a large Siemens deal for Argentine ID cards. When the investigator continued to press the issue, he was attacked in front of his home, according to the lawsuit. He was punched and kicked about the head, rendering him unconscious and causing permanent damage to his vision and hearing, he said. His attackers repeatedly called him “whistleblower” as they beat him, according to the lawsuit. Moran claimed one of them was an employee of Siemens Argentina. In 2008, Siemens Argentina pleaded guilty to falsifying its books and records to disguise $31 million in corrupt payments to Argentine officials, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The payments were made in connection with the identity card project, which was ultimately abandoned.


    Besides this list of allegations and investigations Siemens has also been involved in a number of contract failures in the UK, which have been the subject of detailed scrutiny and reports by the National Audit Office.


    The installation of a new computerised system at the Passport Agency’s Liverpool and Newport offices resulted in massive delays and major inconvenience and costs to the public. At its peak in the summer of 1999, 565,000 passport applications were outstanding which lead 500 people to miss their holidays. The NAO added up the cost of this episode to £13 million (of which £16,000 were spent on umbrellas for people queuing, £5,000 on luncheon vouchers, £161,000 in compensation, and 500,000 on a publicity campaign). The bulk of the increased costs were spent on overtime and additional staff.

    What is interesting about this £120 million contract, however, is how the risk was shared. While Siemens has been fined £60,000 for its performance, another £275,000 due for contractual failings were waived. At the same time, the price per processed passport was increased, resulting in an additional £1.3 million the Government had to pay Siemens per year. Ironically, a system whereby Siemens would have had to pay 10p per day a passport remains unprocessed, was planned but not yet implemented.
    In 1999 the NAO also published a scathing report about Siemens collecting most of its fee for an IT PFI contract in the Immigration Office while the computer system was delivered more than a year late and forced the Government to take on extra staff to deal with the problems.

    Also in 1999, Siemens Transportation Services were fined £6,000 at Bournemouth Crown Court for damaging a 33,000 volt cable and thereby endangering public health and safety.


    Despite this record Siemens was awarded a £635 million PFI contract in 1999 to take over National Savings – an entire Government department. Virtually all of the 4000 staff were transferred to Siemens Business Services. In 2008, it was fined a record £490million in the US and £346million in Germany on bribery charges.It was also barred for two years from bidding for contracts from the World Bank. Last month a further potential bribery case was discovered at Siemens’ business unit in Kuwait. The British Government still dealt with Siemens and eventually offered them preferred status for the Thameslink contract. I SMELL A MASSIVE RAT. 


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