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CSEU On Trident Renewal

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

GMB Welcome CSEU Statement On Behalf Of Workers At Barrow, Clyde, Devonport, Derby And Rosyth On Trident Renewal

These workers have capability to design, manufacture, support and decommission nuclear powered submarines which is a cradle to grave operation vital to the defence of these shores says CSEU

GMB welcome the statement by Hugh Scullion, General Secretary of The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) on the issue of Trident renewal.

Hugh Scullion, General Secretary of the CSEU, in a statement says as follows: ‘The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) some 2 years ago formed a Successor Group Committee made up of senior union conveners from all the major contractors in the Successor Programme at Barrow, Clyde, Devonport, Derby and Rosyth. This was to ensure that the voice of the thousands of workers across the UK could be heard and understood.

These workers have the capability to design, manufacture, support and ultimately decommission nuclear powered submarines. This is a cradle to grave operation which is vital to the defence of these shores.

The nuclear deterrent is undoubtedly a big political issue and the temperature is rising along with the noise levels and in the midst of that it is vital that the voice of the workforce is heard.

For the opponents of Successor the offer of ‘Defence Diversification’ is the answer to what happens to the tens of thousands of skilled jobs.

That does not answer the legitimate concerns of the workers and the families and communities who will be affected, and ask quite rightly:-

·    What comparable work will replace building complex nuclear powered submarines?

·    What happens to the designers in Barrow who are already working on the design?

·    What happens to the supply chain companies who have already started work on the long lead items?

·    What happens to the expertise of at Rolls-Royce where engineers are already working on the next generation reactor?

·    What happens to the UK’s sovereign capability to design, operate and manufacture submarines if the tap is turned off?

The CSEU have no problem with engaging in debate about diversification but it must be on the basis that it recognises the highly skilled nature of these jobs, as well as the geographical, industrial and economic realities.

There are strong opinions in this debate but the legitimate concerns and opinions of the workforce should not overlooked, dismissed or treated lightly. The workers, their families and communities deserve better.’

Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer and chair of the CSEU Shipbuilding Committee, said “GMB welcome this clear statement by CSEU on behalf of workers employed by all the major contractors in the Successor Programme at Barrow, Clyde, Devonport, Derby and Rosyth.

Political parties should heed what CSEU is saying. In a world facing many threats and dangers a properly functioning defence capability is essential to deal with often unpredictable and unforeseen events that threaten national security.

The defence workers in the UK are as vital to our national security as the armed forces. Without the skills of the workforce in the yards the Royal Navy could not defend the nation.

It makes no sense to abandon our longstanding overall defence strategy unilaterally for solely political reasons.”

End

Contact: Dave Hulse 08791 266157 or Scotland - Gary Smith on 07710 618909 or 0141 332 8641 or Jim Moohan 07885 868405 or Chris Jukes for Barrow 07870 176733 or GMB press office 07921 289880

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