Scottish shipbuilder’s union call for contracts after damning naval review


Scottish ship yards in receipt of less work than promised before Scottish independence referendum

A UNION representing Scottish ship workers has called on the UK government to consider contracting work for building ships to Scotland in the wake of a damning review into the UK navy.

Unite, which represents many workers in the upper Clyde, called on the government to utilise the enormous skills base that has been built up over generations of ship building in Scotland, after the publication of Sir John Parker’s eight month probe into the quality of the navy.

The union’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Unite members at BAE Systems on the Clyde have world-class skills, and we worked hard as a union to make sure they benefited from the recent announcement that they would build eight new Type 26 frigates.

 “Any future changes to naval defence contracts must recognise the value offered by workers in Scotland – including the Clyde and Rosyth and beyond – and must ensure that they get a fair share of future work, not just token gestures.

 “We will take time to read Sir John Parker’s report in detail, and make representations to government on behalf of our members.”

Background: UK Government falls short on promises to Clyde ship building, unions claim

In the report, Parker slammed delays to the government’s commissioning of the construction of 13 Type 26 frigates. Eight of the military vessels are now due to be constructed on the Clyde. However, this was a reduction of the original commission offered to Scotland by around 40 per cent.

The report states that the UK navy now routinely fields outmoded ships.

During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the No campaign warned that Scotland’s shipbuilding industry could be hit by a Yes vote. It promised stability under the Union.

Parker also indicated in the report that British steel, produced in plants including those rescued by the Scottish Government in North Lanarkshire, could be used to aid the construction of new ships.

Unite has promised a full response in reaction to the Parker report.

Picture courtesy of Mark Harkin

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