‘Disappointment’ as another 150 Fife jobs axed

Babcock Rosyth will now see 400 jobs axed.
Babcock Rosyth will now see 400 jobs axed.

A Fife MSP has expresed her disappointment at the news that 150 more jobs are to be lost at Rosyth.

The cuts by Babcock Rosyth mean that the total job losses announced since November now reach 400.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Annabelle Ewing said: ”I have been in contact with Mark Dixon, Managing Director of Babcock Rosyth Energy and Marine, today and I am disappointed to learn that Babcock are now looking at 150 job losses from their operations and management structure as they consolidate the energy and marine operations on site into one team.

“My primary concern is for those who now face the prospect of redundancy and my thoughts are very much with them.

“I understand that the management at Babcock are now entering into a 45 day period of consultation with the unions over this announcement and I am sure that during that process they will address issues such as avoiding compulsory redundancies, investigating the potential for relocation elsewhere in the company and providing assistance with job search.

“I have already spoken with Paul Wheelhouse, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, and I know that PACE - Partnership Action for Continuing Employment, the Scottish Government’s national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations - stands ready to provide assistance.

“Today’s announcement comes in addition to the 250 job losses that were announced in November as a consequence of the slow-down of the aircraft carrier programme.

“As the carrier programme comes to an end, there is the real prospect of further job losses so I want to know what the Ministry of Defence can offer in terms of opportunities to bring more work to Rosyth and ensure that these skills are retained in our community.

“Obviously, even after this announcement, Babcock remains an extremely important employer in my constituency and I am hopeful that new contracts lie ahead that will see significant employment secured at Rosyth well into the future.”

Jane Rose, negotiator at shipbuilding union Prospect said: “We’ll work with our reps, members and management to try and mitigate the losses, and as always we’ll seek to avoid compulsory redundancies, but there is no escaping the fact that our members are angry and disappointed at further job cuts.”

Richard Hardy, Prospect national secretary for Scotland added: “We’ve been campaigning for some time for the Westminster Government to move ahead with the orders for Fleet Solid Support vessels and Type 31e Frigates so that Rosyth and other yards across the UK can have certainty about workloads.

“Yesterday’s job losses were the result of internal changes at Babcock, but where there is a certainty of future workload displaced staff can be more readily re-deployed.

“It’s vital that the MoD places these orders with UK yards soon or the promised drumbeat of ship launches will be replaced by a lament for lost skills and jobs.”.