GMB Scotland at STUC: Submarine pact will make world safer and create jobs
GMB Scotland has pledged to continue fighting for skilled, ship-building jobs after defending an international agreement to help build submarines for Australia.
Speaking to the STUC Congress, GMB delegate Mary Mulligan said the Aukus agreement, between the UK, US and Australia, would make the world safer while creating and protecting highly skilled jobs in Britain until the end of the century.
Mulligan said the submarines, which are nuclear-powered not nuclear armed, will bring stability to the Indo Pacific and said the trilateral Aukus agreement is designed to protect peace and provide stability in the region.
She told Congress in Dundee: “The Aukus pact will not make the world a more dangerous place but a safer place and, for generations to come, will create and sustain ship-building and skilled, unionised jobs here in Scotland and across the UK.”
Despite the opposition of GMB Scotland, Prospect and Unite unions, Congress backed a motion claiming Aukus will increase international tensions.
However, Mulligan said most nations in the region support the multi-billion pound project citing the prime minister of Japan who said it will “contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region amidst an increasingly severe security environment.”
In addition, she said, the agreement will strengthen our ties with Australia and the US when bolstering international relationships has never been more important.
At home, she said, the agreement to help Australia build a fleet of up to eight submarines costing up to £368bn will create and protect highly skilled, unionised jobs in the UK until the end of the century.
Much of the work on the new SSN-Aukus submarines will take place at Barrow and Derby but, directly or indirectly, is expected to create thousands of jobs across the UK.
Mulligan said: “The sheer scale of the work will mean knock-on benefits will inevitably spread to Scotland as other contracts are placed elsewhere and bargaining power increases across the industry. Away from the yards, thousands more jobs will be created in UK supply chains.
“GMB and affiliates of The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions are already working with sister unions in Australia and the US, who like us support this agreement, and the skilled jobs and bargaining power the work will bring.
“For generations to come, it will create and sustain ship-building and skilled, unionised jobs here in Scotland and across the UK.”
Click on the image below to watch Mary Mulligan, GMB Scotland Activist speaking at STUC Congress 2023 or follow this link: https://bit.ly/3GVot4M