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Shipyards Demand Parker Report Heeded

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

 

GMB reveals some shipyards ‘only ever one order away from closure’.

GMB and the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions workers in the South West have demanded MPs take heed of the Parker report – and save hundreds of millions of pounds into the bargain.

Workforces at Babcock's Appledore Shipbuilders and Devonport Royal Dockyard, and at A&P Falmouth, have joined forces to write to South West MP's and Council Leaders [1] to call for a full implementation of Sir John Parker's report [2] to inform the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The government is due to respond to Sir John's report in the spring.

Appledore Shipbuilders are currently building a ship for the Irish Navy at a whopping £225million less than their competitors.

Matt Roberts, the South West Chair of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU), and GMB Regional Organiser, said:

"GMB and Unite members at Appledore Shipbuilders are currently building their fourth offshore patrol for the Irish Navy at a cost of €50m, compared to the £257m charged by some of our competitors elsewhere.

“Our members have demonstrated an ability to compete in a commercial environment and deliver a defence export contract, whilst making a profit for the company, securing vital skilled work in our local communities, and repeat orders based on satisfaction of the customer.

"We believe that, in line with Sir John Parker's recommendations, the next generation Type 31 frigates could and should be built at the same time as the Type 26s.

“Modern shipbuilding block-build methods mean that Appledore and Falmouth have the capability to build component parts of the frigates, which can then be assembled at a central location.

“Babcock and A&P have already demonstrated their ability to work as part of an alliance, through the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

“At Devonport, with adaptation such as dock coverage and tonnage lifting capacity there would also be potential to construct ships once again.

"As a country, we need to be aware that if we continue to send work overseas - or indeed fail to spread the work fairly within the UK - we will lose revenue to the Exchequer in terms of VAT, Income Tax and National Insurance contributions, and we consign more skilled British workers to the dole queue, damaging whole communities.

“Appledore in particular is only ever one order away from closure, and the trade unions will fight to protect and advance shipbuilding in South West England."

ENDS

Contact: Matt Roberts on 01752 660219

Notes to Editors:

[1] Please email press.office@gmb.org.uk for copy of CSEU District letter sent to South West MP's and Council Leaders

[2] Sit John Parker’s Report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-national-shipbuilding-strategy-an-independent-report
 

 

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