Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/972/26514

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2017

Scotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

BiFab workers lobby Scottish government, photo Philip Stott

BiFab workers lobby Scottish government, photo Philip Stott   (Click to enlarge)

Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland

Workers at the three threatened Burntisland Fabrications - BiFab - yards in Fife have won a guarantee that their jobs and wages will be secured, at least until April 2018. Action by workers and the GMB and Unite trade unions has delivered this important breakthrough.

On 12 November, the company said it had no money to pay wages and was giving notice that it intended to enter administration. The jobs of 1,400 workers who either work for BiFab or who rely on the company for work via contractors were hanging by a thread.

At mass meetings on 13 November workers agreed a 'work-in' in order to complete the contract - without being paid - but also to ensure they occupied the sites to prevent any attempts at asset-stripping.

As Gary Smith, Scottish secretary of the GMB, told a rally outside the Scottish parliament: "If you had not occupied those yards then your jobs would have gone and the yards shut."

The occupying of the yards, beginning a 'work-in' and a mass march on 16 November to the Scottish parliament to demand government action has paid off.

The major companies involved in the project have agreed to provide BiFab with money that will allow the work to continue and workers to be paid.

The threat of BiFab entering into administration, management claimed, was due to money going unpaid to them by the Dutch company Seeway Heavy Lifting (SHL). SHL is contracted by the Scottish power giant SSE whose Beatrice Windfarm Project the BiFab workers are employed in.

As a result of the action of the workforce, the Scottish government and the main companies involved agreed an arrangement that would ensure wages were paid and the jobs guaranteed until the end of the project. The fact that the completed wind turbine platforms would not be released by the workers would have been an important factor in SHL and SSE agreeing to a deal.

However, as Socialist Party Scotland has called for, only an opening of the books of all parties involved in this project for inspection by the trade unions would get to the bottom of what was really going on. The unions should demand full access to this information to get a real picture of what is happening to BiFab.

1,000 workers, their families and trade union supporters marched to the Holyrood parliament building to demand action. More than 600 workers walked off the job to travel to Edinburgh for the demonstration. However, dozens of workers stayed behind to blockade the gates of the yards to ensure none of the completed work could be moved.

The GMB convener for BiFab, Mike Sullivan, called on the Scottish government to take the plants under their control and to ensure wages were paid.

Socialist Party Scotland members distributed hundreds of leaflets to workers in support of the struggle and calling for the books of BiFab, SHL and SSE to be opened to trade union inspection.

As is normal in these big projects, a labyrinth of contractors and sub-contractors are used by big business to lower costs and increase profit.

That's why Socialist Party Scotland calls for the nationalisation of the major energy and construction firms to guarantee full rights and the rate for the job across the industry.

With renewables, oil decommissioning and waste to energy projects increasingly important for jobs, public ownership and democratic control by workers and the government is essential.

While this victory for the workers at BiFab is welcome, the future of the company is still uncertain after April 2018. The jobs and the yards could be secured with a programme of massive investment into the renewable industry and public sector control of the energy and fabrication industry. BiFab should be brought into public ownership by the Scottish government to secure the skills and jobs there.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 November 2017:


What we think

Budget: lying Hammond says no unemployed


Scottish Labour

What does the left victory in Scottish Labour mean?


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

Trump's tax attacks


Workplace news and analysis

Scotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

Usdaw general secretary coronation

Leeds college workers protest poor pay rises

Virgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

Sheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends


Housing crisis

Posh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

Them & us

Councils' 1bn on commercial property


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS cuts kill!

Gentrification on the terraces: fans say twenty's plenty

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution


Socialist Students

Lively student demonstration for free education could have been much bigger

Socialism 2017 Socialist Students meet-up


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Nottingham 'Reclaim the Night' march highlights cuts

Southampton: Corbynista success but cuts continue


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Disability cuts outrage: my story

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 November 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Scotland:

triangleShocking new data on declining life expectancy

triangleBattle growing against Loch Lomond area big business sell-off

triangleProtests win temporary halt to refugee evictions in Glasgow

triangleEast Dunbartonshire council workers strike to stop pay and leave cuts

Workers:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleStriking Brum home carers reject 'final' pay cut offer

triangleSouth Western rail workers launch five-day safety strike to save guards

triangleCable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

Pay:

triangleUber drivers strike against unfair 'deactivation' and low pay

triangleBolton hospital workers strike as subsidiary company refuses NHS pay rates

triangleNo to fat-cat top judges' 59k pay hike - fight for decent pay for criminal justice workers

Occupation:

triangleAhed Tamimi - worldwide symbol of self-esteem in face of oppression

triangleIsrael - Protest rally against the Nationality Law

Jobs:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism

Government:

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

Energy:

triangleToxic fracking gets the go-ahead while protesters jailed

GMB:

triangleStrike raises pay at Liverpool airport

Renewables:

triangleNationalise the energy giants to combat global warming

Asset-stripping:

triangleButterfields housing victory

Unite:

triangleCable makers strike against real-terms pay cut

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/10/18

Redundancy

Grimethorpe dinner ladies stage all-out strike against redundancy

17/10/18

PCS

PCS union: nominate Chris Baugh as Left Unity candidate for assistant general secretary

17/10/18

Far-right

Demo against far-right DFLA

17/10/18

Socialist Students

De Montfort freshers stall

17/10/18

Devon

Devon foster carers fight 30% cut in allowances

17/10/18

Capitalism

Socialism - the podcast offering Marxist analysis for the movement against capitalism

17/10/18

Newham

Newham finance staff fight pay and grading insult

17/10/18

Pay

Cable makers' pay strike bites as production falls 33%

17/10/18

Bolton

Bolton hospital workers strike as subsidiary company refuses NHS pay rates

17/10/18

Uber

Uber drivers strike against unfair 'deactivation' and low pay

17/10/18

South Western Railway

South Western rail workers launch five-day safety strike to save guards

17/10/18

Birmingham

Striking Brum home carers reject 'final' pay cut offer

16/10/18

Haringey

'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

12/10/18

Film

Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism

12/10/18

Universal Credit

New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999