Uncertainly hangs over Rosyth dockyard’s workforce in the wake of the announcement by BAE to axe 1775 shipbuilding jobs across its UK operations.
It is expected that 835 BAE jobs will be lost at Glasgow, Rosyth and Bristol.
Hundreds of workers, predominantly welders, are transported in every day on secondment to Babcock for the aircraft carrier construction project. BAE employed welders at Rosyth were summoned to a meeting when the jobs announcement was made, according to colleagues. The knock-on effect, if any, to the remaining staff employed directly by Babcock or subcontractors Pyeroy is not known.
Babcock has said Rosyth had contracts which would keep the yard busy and workers employed until at least 2020. As well as the aircraft carrier assembly on the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales there was a run of private sector work secured.
David Hulse, GMB national officer and chair of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Union’s Shipbuilding National Committee, said: “Following the announcement from BAE Systems we are able to confirm that no shipyard will be closing even though there are substantial job losses in the pipeline.
“There is no doubt that this is a devastating day for the UK shipbuilding industry and the company will have to justify to us the job losses planned.
“We have arranged a two day meeting with the company at Farnborough next Monday and Tuesday that will be attended by officers and shop stewards from all the yards and all the unions. This meeting will examine in detail the business case and all aspects for scheduling work in the yards to complete building the carriers, starting work on the Type 26 ships and any other work.
“GMB is genuinely concerned about the future of the UK shipbuilding industry as the skills, if lost, will never be replaced. We have already seen a lost generation where no apprentices have been trained.
“GMB also has serious concerns about the defence capabilities of the Royal Navy to defend UK interests in this uncertain world.
“GMB will do everything possible to safeguard jobs and the highly skilled workforces vital to manufacturing base across the UK. We will look for support from politicians to do the same.”