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Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions (CSEU) Scotland Press Release

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Unions Say Rosyth Cuts Cannot Be The Start Of A Downward Spiral

The CSEU - incorporating GMB and Unite – has called on Babcock international Group to ensure there will be no imposition of compulsory job cuts at the Rosyth naval base, following an announcement that 250 posts have been earmarked for redundancy.

Joint trade union representatives were told this morning (Tuesday 28 November) that redundancies would affect over 100 blue collar posts and over 140 white collar posts as a result of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance contract nearing its completion.

Babcock confirmed to workers that a statutory redundancy consultation period would run until the end of January 2018, with union demanding the employer achieves the reduction through voluntary means only.

Unions have also warned that this morning’s announcement re-emphasises the need for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to do more to end a culture of ‘feast and famine’ on shipbuilding contracts across the UK.

CSEU Scotland Chair Gary Cook said: “The aircraft carrier contract has delivered significant levels of employment in Rosyth for nearly a decade but as the work on the carriers draws to end, it poses serious questions for the future.

At its current capacity the work at Rosyth supports over 3,800 jobs across Fife and delivers £106 million in wages for the Scottish economy – by the end of January those jobs and that value will be reduced.  This cannot be the start of a downward spiral.

First and foremost, achieving these redundancies on a voluntary basis is entirely within Babcock’s gift and it’s the least this employer can do to recognise the massive contribution of the workforce to the delivery of the aircraft carrier programme.

But longer term, this comes back to the failures of the UK Government’s National Shipbuilding strategy. Yards like Rosyth cannot thrive on piecemeal work and this government should be awarding all complex warship and royal fleet auxiliary vessel manufacture to UK yards.

That’s the key to unlocking the massive potential of UK shipbuilding and ensuring continued prosperity for working class shipbuilding communities like those in Fife.”


Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077 or Bob Wylie, Unite Scotland Communications, on 07711 751570.