2007 - 2022

Solidarity with BiFab

“An inspiring example of workers taking their power back and demonstrates continuing capacity of trade unions to set political agenda.”

GMB Scotland regional organiser Hazel Nolan, describes the 1,000-person strong rally on the Scottish Parliament as “historic”…

Thoughts from workers at BiFab:



Comments (6)

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  1. jeouf says:

    This the same GMB union that supports thermo-nuclear war as long as their members get to make the weapons??

  2. Alf Baird says:

    I fail to see why the workers marched “on the Scottish Parliament” or why that was deemed “historic”. This whole issue surely comes back to energy industry regulation and operation in the UK which is a matter reserved to Westminster. The bankers now running the Westminster privatised SSE and taking their easy £1.5 billion profit every year will hardly be losing sleep over the continued demise of Scottish heavy industry. Those of us who have been around since the 1970s have seen this type of event played out many hundreds of times and it always comes back to Westminster and its laissez faire de-industrialisation policy for Scotland. Energy and industry powers need to be in Scotland, like all other state powers, that is the essential message here that the GMB and other (mostly unionist institutions, aye even Holyrood and ‘Scottish’ Enterprise) are careful not to highlight.

    1. I kind of agree Alf – though i dont think the SG is entirely powerless in this.

  3. Chris says:

    Before blaming everybody but Bifab and to march against the big bad outside world, it might be a good idea to look into the processes of Bifab first. For many years Bifab is working in the energy market, where clients are in many events more or less forced to use Bifab (mostly due to political reasons). I cannot remember one single project that was not late and without a cost overrun, yet Bifab management used the political pressure or the benefit of hugely expensive cost overruns for their clients in case of a delay, ensuring additional payments by their clients that were beyond any contractual rights. Winning work is not so difficult this way, but performance is a different story. Where many other European yards seem to be able to deliver in time and more or less within budget, Bifab has a long way to go.

    Clearly the situation of today is hard and tough for the workers and their communities, but look at your company people. Without blackmailing their clients and without political support Bifab would have disapeared many years ago. Saving Bifab would be great for many reasons, but please reshape and transform the yard at the same time in order to have a sustainable solution.

  4. Kenny Smith says:

    I think the SG can help mediate in these situations. They have stepped in to the Grangemouth dispute, saved Prestwick airport and aided the sale of the steelworks from Tata to liberty. I totally agree that the real powers lie at Westminster and you would think the labour party funded by GMB members would be quick to raise this in the commons but I wouldn’t hold your breath. The unionists are happy to blur the lines between what is reserved and what is devolved. I’m sure the SG will do all it can, I’m just not sure it will be enough. Broad shoulders my arse

  5. Jamsie says:

    Dearie me!
    This is nothing to do with regulation of the energy industry and everything to do with shareholders and directors who do not want to invest to keep their own company afloat.
    If you look at the accounts of the company to 31.12.16 which were only posted on 7.9.17 the directors and shareholders benefited from salaries and dividends of just short of £4m on a turnover of £61.25m
    The largest shareholder with 51% is a Swedish Company JCE Offshore AB who are unlisted and turnover billions of euros annually.
    Another SSE Venture Capital Ltd seem to have made £15m losses on investments in the last two years – tax write offs?
    But still took over £300k in dividend from Bifab.
    With 184 employees the average cost per employee including NI and pensions was £49260.
    Even if the SG could legally invest in the company why would they want to expose taxpayers to what would really be a subsidy to a profitable business.
    Given the publicity and the vocal outbursts from the unions it looks as if this could be the SNP panicking because Labour are moving to the left of them and look like taking back their traditional support lost in recent years.
    Time will tell.

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