THE removal of the submarine base from the Clyde would be “devastating for the whole of the west of Scotland” trade union shop stewards have warned.
The concerns were raised by the union representatives of 800 civilian workers at the Faslane naval base and Coulport when they gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee ahead of a debate in parliament on the future of Trident and independence.
The three shop stewards also attacked the SNP government for providing little information on the future of the bases or alternative employment if Scotland was to become independent and as a result of the SNP’s anti-Trident policy lose the submarine fleet of Vanguard and Astute vessels.
Asked about the imact of losing the submarine base, Jim Conroy, chairman of the shop stewards committee who works at Faslane, said: “It would be devastating for the west of Scotland as a whole.”
He said that it would have an impact beyond the local communities including Glasgow and other parts of Scotland too.
He added that the future of the base was of great concern to his members.
“I am approached about this almost every day,” he told the committee.
The SNP have said Faslane would be the future naval base for a surface fleet, but the union representatives said that nothing had been said to them about Rosyth on the east coast also being a naval base potentially splitting the seven ships which it has been speculated Scotland might have based on a comparison with Norway.
Martin McCurley from Unite said that his members had been given very little detail on what might happen.
Richie Calder of Unite at Faslane said that the issue was a concern for people in local communities in towns like Helensburgh where he lives because of the impact on the local economy with many businesses depending on contracts from the base.
The three were critical of the Scottish Government’s lack of information.
Mr Conroy said: “You would think they would want to take people with them.”