THE RMT has called on the government to provide urgent financial support for Eurostar, warning that a failure to act threatens the future of the service and the thousands of jobs that it supports.
The union said that in a recent round-table meeting with the rail minister both the company and the union requested direct financial support for Britain’s international rail service, which currently receives no taxpayer subsidies, without success. It added that the failure to provide help left Eurostar ‘staring into the abyss’.
General secretary Mick Cash said: ‘RMT is calling on the government to step in immediately to give lifeline financial support for the important international infrastructure role fulfilled by Eurostar and the thousands of jobs supported both directly and indirectly by the service.
‘It is wholly wrong that Eurostar, an eco-friendly service that is a beacon for the future of our railways, is being denied the kind of financial support being offered to the airports. The current inaction leaves the service hanging by a thread and all we are asking for is the support needed to maintain viability and stability as we move out of this phase of lockdown and look forward to the future.’
The Department for Transport responded: ‘We recognise the significant financial challenges facing Eurostar as a result of Covid-19 and the unprecedented circumstances currently faced by the international travel industry.
‘The Government has been engaging extensively with Eurostar on a regular basis since the beginning of the outbreak, including through the Global Travel Taskforce. We will continue to work closely with them as we support the safe recovery of international travel.’