Unite members at the Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird have agreed to suspend industrial action after the shipbuilder agreed to a four week pause to plans to make 291 people redundant, it was announced today (Friday 7 December).

A taskforce made up of Unite, the GMB, Cammell Laird, its major shareholder Peel, the government, local politicians and Cammell Laird customers will now come together to try and formulate an action plan that brings forward work to save vital jobs and skills at the shipyard.

The taskforce is set to have its first meeting today (Friday 7 December).

The latest developments come after Unite revealed last week that it was intensifying efforts to bring forward work at Cammell Laird in a bid to remove the threat of jobs losses.

In addition to calling on the UK government to bring forward work on the Royal Navy’s Type 45 frigate, Dreadnought submarine and Royal Auxiliary Fleet programmes, Unite has been working with politicians and Cammell Laird customers, such as BAE Systems, while approaching the shipbuilder’s major shareholder and landlord, Peel Ports for assistance.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The agreement reached between Cammell Laird, Unite and the GMB today is fantastic news for a workforce fearing the worst just before Christmas.

“After meeting with the company last week, I have left no stone unturned in our efforts to address concerns on-site and secure a long term future for the yard. Meeting with government ministers, local politicians and Cammell Laird customers we have today established a multi-agency ‘task-force’ to develop and put in place measures designed to avert unnecessary job losses.

“We now have a period time during which a long-term solution can be found that manages future workload into the yard, assists in securing new work and protects both jobs and critical skills for the future.

“Unite maintains that there is no reason for these job losses and urges everyone to now seize this opportunity we have secured to ensure a strong future for Cammell Laird and UK shipbuilding.”

Commenting Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “The pause to the redundancy process will be welcome news to workers who faced losing their jobs before Christmas.

“We are glad that the company has seen sense and that we now have the breathing space we have called for, while we work to protect these jobs and skills.

“In the coming days, Unite will be working around the clock to secure a solution that averts these self-defeating job losses.

“The fact we have this breathing space is testament to the resolve of Cammell Laird workers and the massive support they have received from all corners of the Merseyside community.”

Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: [email protected] 
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.