Letter to the Committee from GMB (SHP
CURRENT EMPLOYMENT CLYDESIDE/FUTURE EMPLOYMENT
Dear Ms Nelson
The current and future employment prospects
on Clydeside are in our view directly linked to three main areas.
1. The Type 45 Programme.
2. Movement of work and transfer of labour within
BAE SYSTEMS Marine.
3. Re-training for the future.
The Type 45 Programme to come onstream in July 2002
is extremely important to the stability of employment on Clydeside.
Any possible threat of slippage on the order would bring further
redundancies to the present workforce.
The preparatory work needed to be carried out for
the Type 45 in relation to Redesign, Steelwork Planning, and Technical
Backup should be used as avenues in retaining the present employee
We can ill afford to lose any more of the skill factor
whether it be managerial or manual from any of the Yards at Govan
and Scotstoun. Our past experience of peeks and troughs within
the Programme has led to thousands of skills disappearing at either
It is important that the Government stand committed
to the layout of the Type 45 Programme, which in itself will assist
the current employee levels and enhance future prospects. This
would allow us to stabilise the workforce at BAE SYSTEMS for the
first time in 20 years.
It also allows us to confidently carry out work within
research and development of Shipbuilding in a fashion that we
have never been able to achieve before.
The current work Programme at Clydeside just now
is very thin and this opportunity should not be wasted in relation
to the re-training of the skills within either Yard. From the
unskilled to the skilled and including the technical areas this
would allow us to cut down completion time of the ship and increase
the education, training and qualifications of the workforces.
The Government should be asked to assist in this
area, as an order book worth £5 billion should not be treated
lightly in relation to the finished article.
The movement and transfer of work and labour in the
short term is also something which should be seriously considered
as the next few months will be vitally important in holding the
skills and experience which have to be retained for the stability
and future work Programme.
The future employment prospects on Clydeside in our
view shows a growth factor in 2-3 years with the Type 45 Programme
under way between now and then serious concentration must be made
beyond having a heavy reliance on MoD work. We should of course
continue to seek orders from foreign countries that require frigates,
destroyers or offshore vessels. We have shown that in the export
market we can survive and produce a quality product and should
continue our efforts in those areas overseas.
At the same time an investigation should be carried
out into the possibilities of attaining Merchant Shipbuilding
work, as the world market would allow us to bid for work of a
general nature or of a specialised product. We should not forget
that we have the combined experience within the employees of Clydeside
of doing Merchant Shipbuilding and MoD work.
To put all our experiences into one type of build
would in time lead to further threats of redundancies.
We cannot properly rely on any UK Government due
to the changing nature of the world arena. Our view is that a
Partnership between Company, Government and the Employees cannot
only enhance the job security, but lead to employment levels growing,
maybe not in thousands, but certainly hundreds making Clydeside
cost efficient and competitive within the world market, not requiring
subsidies, but being able to make a tender for a ship or ships
based in quality, time and cost.
GMB Senior Organiser & Chairman of the CSEU
29 April 2002