‘Worst case scenario’ of up to 800 redundancies if Tories renege on frigate programme.
GMB Scotland said today (Friday 22 April) the threat of significant redundancies across BAE Systems upper Clyde shipyards would be a ‘total betrayal’ of the workforce and a disaster for Scottish manufacturing.
Representatives of the joint trade unions from the Scotstoun and Govan yards were told by BAE Systems that a ‘worst case scenario’ of 800 redundancies was possible if the UK government pulls-back from its commitment to the manufacture of eight Type-26 frigates on the Clyde.
GMB Scotland understands such cuts would necessitate the outsourcing of up to 20 per cent of work from the upper Clyde, most likely to yards in England, over the lifetime of the frigate contract which has already been delayed until the end of 2017.
Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said: “This would be a total betrayal of the upper Clyde workforce by a desperate Tory government trying to shift the goal posts in the face of their failing economic stewardship.
We’ve gone from the Upper Clyde workforce being promised the manufacture of 13 Type-26 frigates in 2014, only for that to be cut to 8 frigates last year.
We’ve gone from the promise of a world-class ‘frigate factory’ on the Scotstoun site, only to be told the plans were shelved.
We’ve gone from promised investment that would secure thousands of skilled jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships for a generation, only to be told to prepare for redundancies.
In the same week that Scottish unemployment increased by 20,000, the prospect of significant job losses at Govan and Scotstoun doesn’t even bear thinking about - it could tip our economy over the edge.
GMB Scotland rejects this typically ruinous Tory agenda and we will resist any redundancies or withdrawal of work on the upper Clyde by using every tool we have at our disposal.”
Dave Hulse National Officer GMB said “We are extremely disappointed with some of the potential proposals and will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss our concerns.
We will be calling on all political powers to support our fight. We will not accept any compulsory redundancies and demand and expect the MOD and BAE Systems to honour the agreement reached in November 2013 that was to bring world-class facilities to the Clyde to build the Type-26 frigates.
The government and BAE Systems have misled the loyal and dedicated workforce and we will not stand by and let them destroy our valued shipbuilding industry.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Officer Gary Cook on 07712 677594, GMB National Officer Dave Hulse on 07971 266157 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, 07976 447077.