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Politicians ‘Must Pull Together’

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Politicians ‘Must Pull Together’ To Help Secure Vital Navy Shipbuilding Contracts

Ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on the National Shipbuilding Strategy tomorrow (Wednesday 8 February 2017), GMB says Westminster and Holyrood must ‘pull-together’ with trade unions to help UK yards secure contracts for three, 40,000 tonnes Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels.

GMB argues that by replicating the work share programme (or Aircraft Carrier Alliance) put in place for the manufacture of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class aircraft carriers, which has delivered savings of 25 per cent on the second vessel, the recommendations of Sir John Parker’s recent strategic review can be implemented at pace.

The union has called for a cross-party working group of politicians representing shipbuilding communities across the UK to lobby employers and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the RFA work, which could provide sustained employment for yards like Rosyth, which supports over 3,800 jobs generating over £105 million in wages.

GMB Scotland Organiser and Scottish Chair of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) Gary Cook said: “The Parker Review has laid down the challenge and the key to unlocking the ‘massive economic and employment potential’ of UK shipbuilding is the award of the contracts for these RFA vessels.

We’ve demonstrated previously the significant benefits that shipbuilding brings to Scotland and by replicating the Carrier work share programme to deliver the new RFA contracts we can revitalise shipbuilding communities across the rest of the country.

‘Designed and built in Britain’ is not just good for jobs, skills, wages and opportunities for the next generation of shipbuilders, it also represents the best value for the British taxpayer too.

There is a huge economic opportunity waiting for us if we move quickly but it all starts with our politicians and indeed our parliaments pulling together for our shipbuilding communities - and that’s just what we are urging them to do.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook on 07712 677594 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Defence Industry In Scotland: A Report For GMB Scotland By The Fraser Allander Institute - July 2016