150 Fife jobs to go in blow for Rosyth

BAbcock made the announcement this morning. Picture: JPIMedia
BAbcock made the announcement this morning. Picture: JPIMedia

Bosses at one of Fife’s biggest employers have announced that 150 jobs are to be axed.

The jobs, at Babcock Marine in Rosyth, will be made redundant, according to an announcement this morning.

The news has brought calls from union chiefs for the UK government to ensure that contracts are given to British shipyards.

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MB Scotland Organiser and Chair of CSEU Scotland Gary Cook said: “These redundancies stress the urgent need for the UK Government to ensure the three Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels are built in British shipyards, including Rosyth.

“The wind down of the aircraft carrier contract creates a vacuum at Rosyth with no significant manufacturing orders on the horizon. Let’s be clear what this means: Peak production at Rosyth sustains over 3,800 jobs and generates over £100 million in wages – that’s what’s on the line.

“Maintenance programmes for warships will sustain some levels of employment in future but it’s a feast and famine existence for yards like Rosyth, which needs large-scale shipbuilding to realise its full potential.

“Against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty, we need our politicians to stand-up for working class shipbuilding communities like Rosyth and they can do this by demanding the UK government award the RFA contracts to British shipyards.”

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird said: “This is devastating news for Babcock workers and their families.

“With HMS Prince of Wales nearing completion, the trade unions and I have called on the Government to immediately scrap plans to tender the £1.3 billion Fleet Solid Support contract abroad.

“This Government is hell-bent on pursuing bargain basement contracts abroad – no matter the cost to us. Other countries protect their shipbuilding industry and so should we.

“The FSS contract would keep people in work, benefiting the workers, their families and communities, and bring in an estimated £285 million of taxes to help fund our public services.

“I will be in close contact with Babcock and the trade unions during this consultation period and remain committed to helping the yard attract future orders.”

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