Unions optimistic for BiFab future following Canadian meetings

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Following meetings with Canadian Unions and Canadian Company DF Barnes, which runs the BiFab yards at Arnish in Lewis and in Fife, UK unions are now optimistic about the future of the three Scottish yards.

he Canadian trade unions; Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, and Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary, Unite the Union, remain o

Speaking from Canada, GMB and Unite Union leaders said: “Our meetings with the company and its owner over the past couple of days have satisfied us as to the company’s commitment to the Scottish yards and their determination to make those yards a success for the short and the long term.

“For all the wind turbines that we have in Scotland the fact is the manufacturing supply chain is almost non-existent.

“We are satisfied now that the Canadian acquisition of BIFab is a unique opportunity to address the lack of a manufacturing supply chain in the Scottish renewables sector.

“It is also clear to us the company want to make Bifab a world leader in the renewables and energy sector with the Scottish yards being key to that success.

“The company have assured us that they are committed to working with our unions and to create a successful business that creates highly skilled jobs in Scotland.

“We have been clear that our number one priority is creating jobs at these yards for people in Fife and Lewis, and to do this, it is now pressing and vital that we secure contracts for the yards which Bifab are currently tendering for.

“Our message to the wind-farm developers about to award these contract is quite simple: it cannot be the case that the people of Scotland, who pay a premium on their energy bills to subsidise the Offshore Wind-farms, are denied the opportunity to build those wind-farms.

“We have a fantastic skilled workforce in Scotland and the wind farms that are going to be put in Scottish waters should be built, right here in Scotland in the three Bifab yards.

“We are paying for them and we should build them.

“The great renewables rip off must stop now, we want jobs and opportunities for our communities.”