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GMB Defence Workers Slam Lack Of South West Support

Monday, June 5, 2017


Representatives of South West Industry - the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions - have hit out at local MPs and council leaders in Devon and Cornwall for failing to support their livelihoods.

The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) GMB and Unite have criticised the lack of support for defence workers in the South West.

The unions wrote to all MP's and Council Leaders earlier this year [1]  to ask for support in promoting the Sir John Parker Report to Inform the National Shipbuilding Strategy, but only two responded in the whole region, and not one single Devon or Cornwall MP spoke in the debate in the House of Commons.

The wall of silence included MP's such as Oliver Colvile and Johnny Mercer in Plymouth constituencies, where Devonport Dockyard and its supply chain are crucial to the city economy.

The CSEU unions GMB and Unite are outraged by the lack of support from these MP’s who are supposed be representing the interests of hard working people in the South West.

Matt Roberts the CSEU District Chair said:

"In the debate in Parliament we saw Scottish MP's lining up to speak for their workers, but we have the sight of total non-participation from South West MP's.

“No reply to a simple letter, No offer to meet with workers, and Nothing regards speaking up for their constituents in Parliament and that's a slap in the face to workers at Devonport, Appledore and Falmouth."

Rob Miguel, CSEU District Secretary said:

"If sites such as Appledore, Devonport and Falmouth were to close or have reduced order books, the effect on our communities would be dramatic.

“We have a diverse economy in the Southwest ranging from farming to tourism, and that would collapse if highly skilled work in our prized dockyards were to dwindle.”

Rob added:

“We remain very disappointed at the lack of interest these MPs are showing to the hard working people of the south west, we want MP's that support our industries here."


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors:

[1] Copy of letter here:

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