Shipworkers seek jobs assurance from Westminster

Shipyard workers put the finishing touches to RFA Mounts Bay, a new landing ship built for the Royal Navy at Govan. Picture: Getty

Shipyard workers put the finishing touches to RFA Mounts Bay, a new landing ship built for the Royal Navy at Govan. Picture: Getty

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SHIPWORKERS will seek assurances from Westminster today that their jobs will be safe if Scotland remains part of the UK.

Scotland’s shipbuilding sector is heavily dependent on UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) orders and unions have asked the Scottish and UK governments to explain how shipbuilding will be sustained in the event of independence or the continuation of the union.

Officials and senior shop stewards from BAE Systems, Babcock Marine, Rolls Royce, Selex and Thales will demand answers on job retention, skills preservation and investment if Scotland remains in the UK from Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael today.

The Scottish Government has also been asked to come forward with more “positive and substantial” answers on shipbuilding in an independent Scotland.

Jim Moohan, chairman of the Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions (CSEU) in Scotland and GMB Scotland senior organiser, said: “There is ever growing concern by the employees in these five major companies over the uncertainty beyond the referendum.

“The lack of positive and substantial answers from the Scottish Government over the past 12 months shall have a fracturing and destabilising effect on the future job security and support required for continuity of an established infrastructure if any of the five major players decide to withdraw their operations.

“Answers are imperative on job retention, skill preservation and investment from a UK perspective in a sector that is heavily dependent on present and future UK MoD orders.

“A similar approach has been made to the Scottish Government requesting answers in the near future to help the CSEU’s members make an informed judgement of what it could mean to their industry and their jobs come September 18.”

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