Union chief hopeful of solution to BiFab wind-farm construction jobs crisis

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister, on the picket line with Bi-Fab workers in Fife over Beatrice wind farm wages dispute last year.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister, on the picket line with Bi-Fab workers in Fife over Beatrice wind farm wages dispute last year.

A Scots trade union chief is confident that the BiFab engineering company and the jobs of its 260 directly-employed workers can be saved.

Gary Smith, Secretary of GMB Scotland is due to meet Scot-Govt ministers tomorrow about the crisis.

The Fife-based company last week issued statutory redundancy notices to its workers in Methil and at Arnish, Isle of Lewis after completing work on manufacturing platforms for the £2.6 billion Beatrice offshore wind farm being built in the Moray Firth.

Smith said that there are other potential similar contracts which BiFab could bid for – but also warned that the closure of BiFab – along with the loss of a further 1,200 contractor and supply-chain jobs – would be a ‘devastating blow’ to the Scottish renewables industry.

He said: “The Scot-Govt has put a huge amount of political capital into BiFab and there is a great deal of goodwill towards the work force.

“It would be absolutely catastrophic and would cause Scotland real reputational damage if it was allowed to be go under.

“The reputation of the renewables industry would be in tatters. The Scot-Govt has got to put leverage into this as its credibility is on the line here.”

19 Feb 2018

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