GMB Today (Friday 5 November) Welcomed The Long Awaited Go-Ahead For The Manufacture Of The Royal Navy Type-26 Frigate Programme At BAE Systems On The Clyde.
The announcement secures work until 2035 with the shipyards at Govan and Scotstoun already supporting over 2,700 direct jobs, including 1,000 skilled trades and modern apprenticeships, while supporting nearly 6,000 jobs across the Scottish economy.
It’s also a welcome boost for the sluggish Scottish economy as research recently commissioned by the Fraser of Allander Institute for GMB Scotland estimated that the yards on the Clyde support over £162 million worth of wages across the country.
The first steel for the eight type-26 frigates is scheduled to be cut in summer 2017.
Gary Cook, GMB Scotland Organiser said:
“This confirms a generation of skilled employment that will support local communities and generate hundreds of millions for the Scottish economy until the 2030s.
"This is massively welcome news for our long-suffering manufacturing sector and a much needed boost to our sluggish economy but it also offers some hope and opportunity for the next generation of workers too.
"Make no mistake that the UK government has had to be dragged to deliver after months of evasion but the campaigning efforts of our trade union members have been pivotal in holding them to account.
"The best thing the Tories can do now not only for our Scottish shipbuilders but also shipbuilding as a whole, is to ensure the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel contracts are awarded to our yards under a work-share programme, which would see the likes of Rosyth primed to benefit.
"It’s just a great pity that the UK government has not delivered on its promise to build the frigate factory on the Upper Clyde which would have seen state-of-the-art facilities creating a platform for the export market.
Ultimately, today’s green light is a tremendous boost for our hard-working members on the Clyde and we are delighted for them and their families.”
Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer said:
“This is great news for our members up on the Clyde. GMB been campaigning over the last 3 years along with Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions for this contract to be awarded to BAE Systems.
"This announcement demonstrates the faith in the world class workforce on the Clyde this secures long term employment for our members which will guarantee employment till 2034.This is great news for the people of Scotland.
“This has been a long and tricky road that has seen many ups and downs – but this safeguards our members’ jobs long term. It is also a great boost to the local community and economy. GMB has campaigned to see these ships built on the Clyde and would like to place on record there thanks to everyone who has been involved. This brings comfort and security long term to our members and their families.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook on 07712 677594 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to editors
THE DEFENCE INDUSTRY IN SCOTLAND
A Report For GMB Scotland By The Fraser Allander Institute - July 2016 can be found on the GMB Scotland Website www.gmbscotland.org.uk/newsroom/royal-navy-frigate-go-ahead
Fraser Of Allander Shipbuilding Report