Union bosses travel to Canada to meet with BiFab’s owners

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Union leaders are set to travel to Canada this week to meet with the owners of troubled BiFab.

They will meet with senior managers of DF Barnes on Thursday to discuss the future of the yards in Burntisland, Methil and the island of Lewis.

The journey comes on the back of a meeting today with Derek Mackay, Finance and Economy Secretary – the Scottish Government is a minority shareholder in BiFab as a result of the deal done in April to stave off closure – and the company.

READ MORE Owners commit to BiFab’s future

Last week, DF Barnes responded to questions from the Fife Free Press and gave an assurance they were in it for the long-haul after coming under criticism for issuing redundancy notices which left barely half a dozen workers at yards which once employed 400 workers with another 1000 contractors.

BiFab’s order books are currently empty and the unions have expressed fears the new owners planned to move towards using only agency staff.

READ MORE Unions claim BiFab yards ‘effective closed’

But Gary Smith, GMB Scotland secretary and Pat Rafferty, Scottish secretary, Unite the Union, say the head to north America hopeful the business can be turned around.

A statement from the duo said: “Our number one priority for months has been not just the rescue of a company but the employment of people in Fife and in Lewis. We remain optimistic that the outlook for restoring significant levels of employment at the BiFab yards is achievable, if work can be secured.

“The new owners, alongside the Scottish Government, need to work with us to build trust through regular and meaningful dialogue on the future. Only by pulling together will we deliver on our ambitions for people and employment in Fife and on Lewis.”