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Call For Assurances Over Clyde Shipyards Jobs

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Well you make a deal with the Devil........


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for "cast iron assurances" jobs will not be lost at Clyde shipyards because of contract delays.

Unions at BAE Systems have warned of possible delays to funding for the Royal Navy's new frigates.

But Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson insisted there was no change to the timetable.

Labour said it was vital that promises were kept while the Lib Dems called for an end to uncertainty.

The UK government confirmed in its Strategic Defence and Security Review last November that eight Type 26 frigates would be built on the Clyde, although the total number was scaled back from 13.

In the meantime, the yards are being sustained by Ministry of Defence orders for new offshore patrol vessels.

But after briefings with management, the GMB union said last week that work on the new frigates would not begin until 2017 and raised concerns that up to 800 jobs could be lost if there was any backsliding on commitments.

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "gravely concerned" by the developments.

She said: "The future of both Govan and Scotstoun depend on these orders. Solemn promises were made in the run-up to the referendum and if those promises are broken, it will be seriously damaging for the shipyards but I think people across Scotland will feel very let down by the parties that made those promises."

Edited by workingpoor

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Workers at BAE Systems' shipyards on the Clyde

have vowed to do whatever it takes to avoid further job cuts, after learning of delays to contracts for the next generation of Royal Navy frigates.

The warning came after shop stewards met to discuss briefings by the firm.

They are informing the workforce of their determination to fight any compulsory job losses.

They say the problem comes from slower release of Ministry of Defence (MoD) funding for Type 26 warships.

That means work on them will start later than planned, and will be carried out more slowly, probably requiring fewer workers.

Hundreds of jobs have been lost on the Clyde in the past 18 months as BAE reduced shipbuilding capacity.


On Friday, GMB union convener Gary Cooke said the Clyde workforce had been "deceived" and "betrayed", after being promised investment in the yards, which employ more than 2,500 people.

A BAE Systems spokeswoman said the company was working with the Ministry of Defence to agree a revised timetable for the Type 26 ship, and for two offshore patrol vessels which have been added to the current order for three.

She added: "We are engaging our trades unions as we work through this process. Our focus is to deliver the capability the Royal Navy needs, while ensuring the best value for UK tax payers."

An MoD spokeswoman said: "The government is committed to building ships on the Clyde and to the Type 26 programme.

Edited by workingpoor

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Douglas Fraser

Business and Economy Editor

This isn't a bad time to exert pressure on the Ministry of Defence over its commitment to building ships on the Clyde. There's an election on, and a referendum.

The last referendum featured a lot about the prospects for keeping the yards busy by building complex ships for the Royal Navy. Unions say the pledges made then are not being honoured now.

A £200m plan to invest in a covered shipyard at Scotstoun - modern and efficient enough to win export orders - has come to a much lesser plan, focussed more on Govan. Shop stewards say there's little sign of that happening so far.

The big challenge is to keep the big workforce busy when there's only one big customer, but with an austerely squeezed budget.

The aircraft carrier work is winding down, though 250 Clyde workers are now engaged in assembly work at Rosyth in Fife. Three Offshore Patrol Vessels are under construction, with two more being ordered. It looks like a plan that has more to do with shipbuilding capacity than the Royal Navy's needs.

The Ministry of Defence says it still plans to build eight Type 26 frigates on the Clyde, having committed a lot of money to planning and procurement. The plan until December was for 13. But there is a shift of £750m in the budget, stretching it into more distant, less constrained fiscal years.

If the start of work is further delayed, and it then ramps up more slowly than planned, the consequences for the workforce look obvious. Hence the lobbying effort to re-instate that money.

And although the end of the current planning period is ten years away, it's not too early to be asking if the Clyde yards will be fit for purpose then, without a lot more investment.

Edited by workingpoor

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As long as Scotland is part of the UK and the shipyards are profitable then there will be jobs.


Bit of a late spin from the SNP. The shipyards were very anti_SNP.

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No they are soley reliant on one customer, the MOD.

There is no hope of ever getting export orders

they are too expensive.

The end of the planning period for the T26 frigates is 10 years away, they will need to limp on building the odd OPV thrown their way by the Government here & there.

Portsmouth shipyard was closed and the work sent to the Clyde ahead of the Referendum with promises of investment at Scotstoun which has never materialised, it was a sop for votes and now that is becoming clear.

The M.A.R.S RFA refueler contract went to South Korea with outfitting to be done in the UK

this is the precursor to Hulls being constructed abroad and floated over.

Edited by workingpoor

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Well ... all UK MOD spendign is polictical.

If it wasn;t we'd have long been buying in the best of class from other countries - German tanks, Belgian gins, Japanese ships.

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For sure this stuff will all be covered by the open letter and schedule by Gordon "No more house price boom and bust" Brown that he issued just before the Scottish referendum.

Edited by billybong

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