Ferguson Marine workers 'deserve certainty' over shipyard's future after SNP minister rejects investment
21.11.2023 - 05:43
Workers at Ferguson Marine "deserve certainty" after the Scottish Government rejected a request for £25m of additional investment in the nationalised shipyard.
The GMB union said staff at the Port Glasgow site were blameless for the failure to complete two new car ferries for Caledonian Macbrayne which were supposed to be in service by 2018.
Neil Gray, the Economy Secretary, last week refused to commit to funding a modernisation programme at Fergusons to allow it to compete for future orders.
Gary Cook, GMB Scotland senior organiser in manufacturing, said investment was crucial if the yard was to be sustainable long-term when work on the two ferries is finally finished.
Work on the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa has been blighted by delays and soaring costs amid a political row over who is to blame.
Cook told the Record: "Whatever mistakes have been made, the workers at Ferguson Marine did not make them and whoever is to blame, it is not them.
"Their jobs and the future of this yard should not be undermined by mistakes made years ago. Whatever decisions were being taken elsewhere, in the yard, this skilled and committed workforce has done exactly what was asked of it.
"We know what happened in the past and need more than vague promises about the future.
"Ferguson Marine needs practical support and investment right now. The workers deserve some kind of certainty and the yard needs investment to win new commercial contracts and create a pipeline of secure work.”
Gray last week suggested a new business plan will be needed before more investment can be approved at the yard.
Ferguson bosses have argued the investment is needed for a new plating line for steel panels, burning tables and new computer software.
Workers suggest some of that