Following a recent meeting at Arnish with management, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Leader Roddie Mackay has confirmed ongoing support for the company Bi-Fab in seeking to retain their effective and hard working workforce.
Leader Roddie Mackay said: “This is a very difficult time for all at Bi-Fab and we remain highly concerned about the future of the company and the potential impacts on individuals and their families.
“It is frustrating that despite the loyalty of the workers and their ability in this particular contract to deliver on time and on budget that the company faces these major challenges.
“The Comhairle has written to Government looking for their best efforts in protecting Arnish, its skilled workforce and its strategic importance. Any loss of jobs would a significant blow to the local economy and it is critical that the Government and other stakeholders in the supply chain to bring new money to the table to help sustain the company. The Comhairle stands ready to support and assist where possible and appropriate.”
Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan met with met with members of the BiFab workforce, as they rallied at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday morning to defend jobs in both Fife and the Isle of Lewis.
Dr Allan said: “I was pleased to meet with members of the BiFab workforce outside Holyrood and offer my support to the workers and families affected, as the Scottish Government works to assist in finding a sustainable future for these jobs.
“This week, I have been speaking to ministerial colleagues about the situation at Arnish, and written to the First Minister to emphasise the importance of the yard to the Isle of Lewis. Scotland needs firms like BiFab to thrive if we’re to make the most of our renewable potential.
“It was great to hear the Depute First Minister bang the drum of the BiFab workforce in Parliament and mention the dignity and resilience they have shown, in what will be a very stressful time for them and their families.
“John Swinney made clear how seriously the Scottish Government is taking this situation. He highlighted that the Government’s fundamental focus just now is on resolving the contractual issues that have led to this situation, and that they will leave no stone unturned in securing the future of the firm.
Nicola Sturgeon returning early from her trip to Bonn further demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the renewable energy sector, and to the jobs in the Western Isles, as well as in Fife.
“I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Scottish Government, and would be more than happy to hear from individual members of the workforce at Arnish if I can help them in any way.”