The general secretary of Scotland’s biggest union paid tribute to shipbuilding workers during a visit to the Rosyth dockyard.
During his visit yesterday (Thursday 24 November) to the site owned by Babcock Marine, Len McCluskey of Unite also called on the UK Government to make sure that workers in Fife benefit from contracts to build new supply ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – safeguarding jobs following the end of work on the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
In 2015 the Ministry of Defence confirmed that it was looking to build new large supply vessels as part of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project.
Len McCluskey said: “It was a privilege for me to meet Unite members at Rosyth. Their work on the aircraft carrier project has shown everyone that the proud tradition of world-class shipbuilding in Scotland is alive and well.
“But we now have to look forward. We are calling on the Ministry of Defence to make sure that workers in Scotland benefit from the MARS project vessels.
“The Aircraft Carrier Alliance between Babock Marine, the MoD, BAE Systems and Thales was a model that worked, and Unite believes it should be replicated again for this contract.
“There is no reason for this work to go abroad. We have workers with world-leading skills that are ready and able to do the work. The MoD should respect their skills, secure their jobs, and safeguard them for the next generation.”
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “We are ready to work with Fife Council, Babcock and the Scottish Government to start the process of making sure this work benefits Rosyth.
“It is vital that we support skilled manufacturing jobs in Fife shipbuilding. Losing them would be devastating to the local economy and far beyond.”
Notes to editors
For further information contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / firstname.lastname@example.org