BiFAB workers march on Scottish Parliament to safeguard jobs

The company's site on Lewis
The company's site on Lewis

Workers from BiFAb Marine Engineering’s three yards, in Burntisland and Methil, in Fife and the Isle of Lewis, which have been threatened with closure following a cash-flow crisis, have today (Thursday) marched on Holyrood to demand that their jobs are saved and the yards are secured.

They were joined by their families, friends and supporters all there to show solidarity.

Addressing the rally, 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.”

Mr Rafferty revealed that the unions had met with the Scottish Government yesterday and were encouraged that the Government saw a path out of this, albeit obstructed at this time.

However he stressed further talks would need to happen with SSE Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies and Dutch company Seaway Heavy Lifting to find a way forward.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron also met with trade union representatives and workers from BiFab at the rally outside of the Scottish Parliament.

Donald Cameron MSP said: “This is an extremely worrying time for the near 1,400 staff who work for BiFab and their families, including the 160 strong workforce in Lewis.

As a local MSP for the area, I want to say to those individuals that my office is here to offer whatever support and advice we can.

I spoke with Alan Ritchie from the GMB and I am aware that he will be meeting with staff at the Arnish yard to offer them support.

It is clear from the rally today that workers want to see a solution and I believe we can achieve that. We secured a future for the Lochaber smelter last year so it can be done.”