Battle For BiFab: Hundreds march through Edinburgh

BIFAB Burntisland  (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
BIFAB Burntisland (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Hundreds of BiFab workers have marched through Edinburgh in a bid to save their yards – and their jobs.

The demonstration was followed by a rally at the Scottish Parliament.

The workers were joined by their families and supporters who turned out in strength to back the ‘Battle For BiFab’ campaign.

The rally was designed to keep the issue in the public eye – and highlight that 1400 Scottish jobs are now at risk unless BiFab can resolve its critical cash flow problems which centre around a dispute with a Dutch contractor.

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish secretary, said: “We know from the last few days that this is going to be a tough fight.

“The jobs at these yards in Methil, Burntisland and Lewis are our jobs – Scottish jobs – and we will fight tooth and nail to protect them.

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

“How can it be that a Scottish energy giant – SSE – is running a billion pound contract for a Mega Scottish wind farm, and then a Scottish company is threatened with going to the wall because a Dutch contractor wont pay its bills. It beggars belief.

“This contract will be finished in these yards by our members, because these jobs are not for sale, at any price.”

The unions met with the Scottish Government yesterday and were encouraged that the Government saw a path out of this, but they have named SSE Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies and Dutch company Seaway Heavy Lifting, as one of the oibstructions to a deal.

Mr Rafferty called on him ‘‘to emerge from the shadows’’ and talk with SHL.

He said: “SHL seems to think it can put 1400 workers on the dole and laugh all the way to the bank. Not on our watch they won’t.”