UK: Unions say 2.500 jobs in jeopardy. Request meeting with Scotland First Minister

GMB, a UK workers’ union has said that contracts heavily supported by the Scottish Government are not being awarded to the three yards and are going overseas instead, placing jobs and skills at risk.

GMB and Unite unions have repeated their request for an urgent meeting with Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland First Minster in relation to contracts for the Burntisland Fabrications Limited three yards in Scotland.

The yards, employing 2,500 workers at Burntisland and Methil in Fife and Arnish in Stornoway, build modules for the offshore oil and gas industry.

“Contracts that should be going to these yards, which are heavily supported by the Scottish Government, are now being awarded to overseas yards. There is a recent example of such a contact being awarded to a yard in Spain,” GMB said in a statement, adding that the unions “are extremely disappointed that they have had no response to an earlier request for a meeting with the Scottish First Minster on this issue.”

Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer, said: “We are disappointed that we have not had a response from the First Minister’s office to meet with the trade unions to discuss the current circumstances at the Burntisland Fabrications Limited’s three yards in Scotland.

“We find this lack of response to a request to meet to discuss this threat to jobs and skills totally unacceptable. We need to emphasise the importance to the Scottish economy of the skilled jobs that are being lost with these decisions.

“If contracts are not awarded very soon to Burntisland Fabrications Limited we face the real possibility of these yards being mothballed and jobs lost forever to the industry. We are writing once again expressing the urgency for a meeting to take place as soon as possible.”

Bernard McCaulay, Unite national officer, said “Highly skilled workers feel betrayed by the lack of support from the Scottish First Minister’s office, as hundreds of skilled workers face the prospect of long term unemployment due to these major projects which are heavily subsided by Scottish taxpayers are constructed outside the UK.

We call upon the First Minister to meet with the trade unions and management quickly to avoid these yards being mothballed. We must protect the skills of those workers to pass on to future generations to maintain Scotland as world leader in delivering these major projects for the offshore industry clients.”

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