March On Saturday 14th December To Say “Don’t End 500 Years Of Shipbuilding History” In Portsmouth
Government throwing more than 1,000 highly skilled shipbuilders on the scrap heap but also playing fast and loose with the national security of these British Isles says GMB.
The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU), comprising of GMB, Unite and Prospect hold a march and rally in Portsmouth tomorrow (Saturday 14 December) of shipyard workers, their families and local communities to call on BAE Systems and the government to save shipbuilding in Portsmouth.
In November BAE Systems took the decision to end 500 years of shipbuilding history in Portsmouth with almost 1000 planned jobs cuts. The unions are fighting to retain as many of the job as possible.
The unions believe that as the ultimate owner of the Portsmouth dockyards the government still has a role to play. By working with BAE Systems and the unions the Ministry of Defence could find ways to generate opportunities to save valuable shipbuilding jobs and skills.
The details of the demonstration are as follows:
Assemble at 11.00
Saturday 14 December 2013
Move off at 12.00 to arrive at Guildhall Square for the rally at 12.30.
Speakers at the rally will include: Vernon Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, Hugh Scullion CSEU general secretary, Dave Hulse, GMB national officer and CSEU Chair, Ian Waddell, national officer Unite and John Ferrett, Prospect.
Gary Cook, GMB regional officer said: "Not only is the coalition Government prepared to throw more than 1,000 highly skilled shipbuilders on the scrap heap, many of whom will be destined for a life on benefits, but they are also playing fast and loose with the national security of these British Isles by having no plan B for warship building.
Regardless of party politics surely any right minded individual would not put all their eggs in one basket and would see real value of retaining a capability at Portsmouth."
Ian Waddell, Unite national officer, said: “Portsmouth has a proud 500 year history of shipbuilding. It is a waste and a tragedy that the government is allowing this legacy to end. BAE Systems workers, their families and local communities are calling on the government to think again and secure shipbuilding in Portsmouth for another 500 years.
As the ultimate owner of the Portsmouth dockyards, we believe the government can generate opportunities to save these valuable shipbuilding jobs and skills.”
Contact: Gary Cook 07712 677594 or Ciaran Naidoo from Unite on 07768 931 315 or Steve Pryle GMB Press Office on 07921 289 880