Friday 23 October 2020

ATUC support and solidarity to Bifab workers as Scottish government ends hopes for the communities in Fife and Lewis

Aberdeen Trade Union Council has described as "heart breaking"  to all those workers, their families and their trade union movement supporters, the collapse of a deal between Bifab and EDF for the manufacture of wind turbine jackets to support the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind project.

 As part of the campaign to save Bifab last year, the STUC organised the November 2019 Energy Conference which offered wide spread trade union and environmental organisations' support for a just transition and support for the Bifab community.

Follow up reports have been produced but the failure to support the Bifab workers shows the lack of political will across the UK and Scottish Governments to support a just transition for working people.


ATUC sends our support and solidarity to Unite and GMB members affected by this apparent failure on the part of the Scottsh Government and to the communities that will be affected.

Responding on Wednesday 21st October to the breaking news over the collapse of a deal between BiFab and EDF for the manufacture of eight turbine jackets to support the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind project, Unite Scotland Secretary Pat Rafferty and GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said:

“It looks like the Scottish government ministers have walked away from our best chance of building a meaningful offshore wind manufacturing sector, and in doing so have extinguished the hopes of communities in Fife and Lewis who were banking their future prosperity on it. 

“It’s a scandalous end to a decade which started with promises of a “Saudi Arabia of Renewables” supporting 28,000 full-time jobs in offshore wind and now finishes in mothballed fabrication yards and no prospect of any contracts or jobs on the horizon. 

“Both the First Minister and the Prime Minister promised a green jobs revolution but they didn’t tell anyone it would be exported, and it all amounts to broken promises to workers who needed these yards to be thriving instead of dying. 

“The fabrication contracts for NnG, just like those on the Seagreen project, will be manufactured by the rest of the world. Two projects worth a total of £5 billion, requiring 168 turbine jackets to power our future, and not even one will be built in Scotland – everyone needs to let that sink in. 

“This is what political failure looks like and people are right to be absolutely furious.”