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8 April: news in brief

Bombardier to restart Derby production

TRAIN building will be restarted in Derby next week and other sites will also be working again, after Bombardier had paused production at Litchurch Lane and work elsewhere in response to the coronavirus emergency. The company said: ‘On March 25, Bombardier Transportation UK announced a temporary pause in rolling stock production at our Derby site, heavy maintenance at our Ilford site, and component refurbishment and overhaul at our Crewe site. Working with site trade union representatives we have used the pause to review working practices in order to comply with social distancing requirements. We have begun trialling these new processes that include greater spacing, split shifts, additional safety requirements and washing facilities, and we are now inducting our people into these new ways of working.’

New shadow transport secretary welcomed by industry

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan is among those who have welcomed the news that the new Labour leader Keir Starmer has appointed Jim McMahon as shadow secretary of state for transport, and that Andy McDonald is moving to become shadow secretary of state for employment rights. Mick Whelan said: ‘Jim, as the son of a lorry driver, knows about transport. He has been a thoughtful, hard-working, and determined Member of Parliament, and shadow minister, just as he was a thoughtful, hard-working, and determined local councillor in Oldham for twelve years. I know he will build on the ambitious work of Andy McDonald who has prepared detailed plans to take Britain’s railways back into public ownership.’ Rail Industry Assoociation director general Darren Caplan has also welcomed the appointment, saying: ‘The coronavirus outbreak provides a real challenge to the railways, and the UK rail industry is working hard to overcome these challenges. Whether maintaining the existing network or building safely the world-class railway we all want to see for the future, rail suppliers really are working flat-out to ensure key workers and resources can move across the country, and to support the economy. They have our gratitude at this most difficult of times. Both through coronavirus and afterwards we look forward to working closely with the new shadow transport secretary to ensure there is a strong rail supply sector.’

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