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Battle for BiFab March & Rally

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BiFab Joint Trade Union Calling Notice - Battle for BiFab March & Rally

Where: Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh from 10AM. Rally from 11AM at Scottish Parliament

When: Thursday 16 November 2017

Unions call on SSE to ‘rein in’ contractor as workers rally to urge MSPs: ‘Battle for BiFab’

Workers and their families will rally in Edinburgh tomorrow (Thursday 16 November), urging MSPs to ‘battle for BiFab’ as their trade unions called on energy giant SSE to ‘rein in’ the contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) and save 1,400 jobs in Fife and Lewis.

With the threat of administration looming, joint trade union representatives met today with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown MSP to press the case for urgent stakeholder intervention to keep BiFab afloat.

Trade unions now believe that SSE, the largest stakeholder in the £2.6 billion Beatrice Windfarm Limited (BOWL) Project, holds the key to resolving the contractual payments dispute between BiFab and SHL.

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said:

“Today the Scottish Government told us they can see a path out of this crisis. But it’s a path blocked by Scotland’s biggest energy company SSE remaining at loggerheads with the main Dutch-owned contractor SHL.

“It’s time that Alistair Phillips-Davies the CEO of SSE came out of the shadows on this crisis used his powers to get this sorted. He needs to rein in SHL and guarantee these jobs and the future of the communities in Fife and Lewis affected by it.

“The dedication and professionalism of our trade union members, who are working for free to defend their futures and their industry, should send a loud and clear message to all stakeholders and politicians - this is a workforce that  must be saved.

Both trade unions involved in the BiFab crisis welcomed the work which had been done to date to seek a way out of the BiFab crisis by the Scottish Government.

In turn the Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Keith Brown praised the steadfastness of the workers at BiFab and the fact that despite difficulties they had agreed to keep the yards open by continuing to work on the contracts.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said:

“This work and this contract will be completed in Scotland if everyone pulls together - there is a way forward here.

“But the spotlight now needs to be put firmly on SSE which controls the billion pound Beatrice contract, the Dutch contractor SHL at the root of the payments dispute and also the UK Government who have £21 million of taxpayers’ money underwriting this.

“It’s time for everyone to stand up and be counted. Letting these workers and their communities go under is not an option.”

ENDS

Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077 or Bob Wylie, Unite Scotland Communications, on 07711 751570.

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