SNPLeader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today re-stated her party’s ‘full and unequivocal’ support for the workers at BAE systems and has written to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a cast-iron commitment from the UK Government that the contract will be delivered as promised.
Meeting trade union representatives at Govan shipyard today, the First Minister made clear that she would raise the issue of the contract to build Type 26 frigates with Mr Cameron personally and condemned the ‘betrayal’ of the pre-referendum promises made to the workers by both the Tories and Labour.
This comes as trade unions warn that up to 800 jobs could go at the Clyde shipyards, as the UK Government looks set to renege on its pre-referendum promise by delayed the frigate order after already reducing the number of ships to be built.
Commenting, Ms Sturgeon said:
“Scotland’s shipbuilding industry has a proud history. The workers on the Clyde have unparalleled skills and experience – and they deserve better than empty promises from a Prime Minister who has already admitted that he “doesn’t care” about Scotland.
“Workers won a contract for 13 Type 26 frigates and have already seen that cut back to only eight vessels. Now there are doubts over the timetable for these vessels and for other work due to come to the Clyde. The workforce here has already seen its numbers reduced and it would be a disgrace if they are to face further cuts.
“The SNP in government has worked closely with BAE and the trade unions to support the yard and we will give them our full support over the coming months, as we continue to do everything we can to support Scottish industry.
“We cannot forget that a series of claims were made by the Tories and Labour during the referendum about employment at these yards and we will do everything in our power to hold the Tories to those promises.
“We already know David Cameron is trying to avoid Scotland during this election campaign but he can’t avoid his obligation to the workers on the Clyde. He owes it to them to give a cast-iron commitment that this contract will be delivered in full, and on the promised timescale.
“SNP MPs at Westminster and an SNP Government in Holyrood will keep up the pressure on the UK Government to fulfill its promises.”
A copy of the letter from the First Minister to David Cameron is at: