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Launch of Glen Rosa must herald a new era for Ferguson Marine

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The launch of the Glen Rosa must herald a new era for Ferguson Marine, according to the shipyard’s biggest union.

GMB Scotland welcomed the ferry’s launch today but said the yard’s workforce must be allowed to move on from the troubled contract.

Gary Cook, GMB Scotland senior organiser in engineering, said the workers are blameless for the soaring costs and missed deadlines of the Glen Rosa and Glen Sannox ferries and deserve to know their jobs are secure and their yard has a future.

He said: “The sight of such a ship being launched into the Clyde is a too rare reminder of this river’s proud shipbuilding heritage.

“This yard and these workers can help ensure that heritage is protected for future generation of shipbuilders but only with the support of ministers.

“No one, apart from the islanders, want these ferries finished more than the workers who have been blameless in this sorry process but been used as a political punchbag for far too long.”

He said the contract for seven small ferries for CalMac must be awarded to the yard urgently to reassure the workforce and protect the skills at a yard that is crucial to families and communities across Port Glasgow.

“Taxpayers must get a return on the money already invested at Fergusons and that means ministers helping deliver new contracts.

“The future of the yard must be secured as quickly as possible to protect the skills in place here.

"That must mean the Scottish Government committing to building the small ferries at Fergusons to create a pipeline of work that will secure the yard and shipbuilding on the Clyde for generations to come.”

Alex Logan, GMB Scotand convenor at Fergusons, said the crowds of well-wishers coming to see the launch of Glen Rosa from communities around Port Glasgow and Inverclyde only confirm the importance of the yard to generations of workers and their families.

He said: "This yard is and has been a bedrock for workers and their communities and the apprentices starting here today should be given the assurance that will continue for generations to come.

"Given the chance, we have the skills, commitment and experience to make this a thriving business capable of building ships on the Clyde for years.

"The reputation of this yard and its workers has been battered through no fault of their own. They deserve the opportunity to show Scotland that this river can produce world-class ships, in the past, in the present and in the future."

Work to complete the Glen Rosa will now continue quayside at Ferguson Marine.