By Marcus Leach

Unions representing train maker Bombardier are set to hold talks with ministers in a desperate bid to have the Thameslink contract reconsidered.

Bombardier announced that they would be forced to lay-off 1,400 staff following the government's decision not to award them the £1.4 billion contract for the Thameslink trains.

Instead the contract went to German company Siemens, who the government claimed offered better value for money. The news was a bitter blow for Bombardier, and has the potential to force the company to close.

Unite and the RMT will outline the impact on the area, as well as the wider UK manufacturing industry, to Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond.

However, the government have stressed that they are now legally obliged to honour the deal, despite the consequences to a British company by doing so.

"The weight of public opinion is on the side of Bombardier and against the Government's short-sighted decision," Unite assistant general secretary, Diana Holland, said.

"Politicians, the public and the media are equally shocked by the Government's decision not to award Bombardier the Thameslink contract.

"The Government must re-think its disastrous decision and support British manufacturing and skilled jobs."

The RMT will present their case, including calling for an investigation into whether or not Siemens is 'fit and proper'.

"We will be calling on Phillip Hammond to call off the jobs massacre at Bombardier, and the destruction of the UK train building industry, and to take full account of the barrage of new evidence that has been uncovered since this process began," General secretary Bob Crow said.

"The fight to save train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world remains well and truly on."

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