Cautious optimism over BiFab’s future

BiFaAb workers march through Edinburgh (Pic: Jon Savage)
BiFaAb workers march through Edinburgh (Pic: Jon Savage)

Union leaders have spoken of their hopes that BiFab’s future can be secured.

Their cautious optimism came after a day of talks with the troubled business which employs around 1400 workers across three yards – Burntisland, Methil and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.

The majority of the jobs are based in Fife.

BiFab endured a turbulent end to 2017 and appeared to teeter on the brink of administration amid a cash-flow crisis linked to its contracts.

The workforce staged a work-in and a high-profile mass march down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, the urgency of the situation saw the Scottish Government, unions and politicians across the divide work to secure a deal which ensured the company stayed afloat.

BiFab has enough work to keep going until the end of March, and it is currently moving it around the three yards.

A day of talks between unions and management took place today, and fears it may mean more bad news appear to have subsided.

Bob McGregor, of Unite said both parties were committed to securing long-term futures for the three yards, and added: ‘‘We’re all working with the government to achieve that.”

Alan Ritchie of the GMB, said moving work around to keep all three yards viable had been a ‘‘positive’’ move.

He said: ‘‘The main focus has got to be getting the work into those yards.

‘‘They complement each other, that’s the importance of BiFab, each yard has a different skill on its own.’’