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RMT calls for 'urgent' Eurostar support to avoid thousands of jobs losses
17 January 2021, 16:47
Rail union RMT has called for "urgent, decisive and coordinated action" to avoid the collapse of the Eurostar link from the UK to the European continent.
Insiders at the rail firm are warning the operation could run out of cash by spring as data shows passenger numbers have plummeted by 95% since March last year as a result of the pandemic.
The unions says thousands of jobs and billions in investment is at risk and wants the Government to make an urgent intervention with strategic financial support.
General Secretary Mick Cash said; "It is clear that Eurostar is standing on the brink of collapse and we need urgent Government action to protect the thousands of jobs and vital infrastructure link to the Continent that now hangs by a thread.
"Eurostar has not benefited from the kind of financial and practical support that has been made available to the airports and ground operations. That needs to be put right as a matter of priority.
"The open-access rail operators, Hull Trains and Grand Central, are also urgent cases for action as they have been excluded from the emergency measures offered to the rail franchise holders.
"We will need all our domestic and continental rail operations to be fighting fit to help kick start the economic recovery when we emerge for this current lockdown."
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “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. We will continue to work closely with them as we support the safe restart and recovery of international travel.”