Union Calls on Groups to 'Battle' for BiFab, Help 1,400 Workers
Tuesday Nov 14, 2017  
URL: https://www.rigzone.com/news/union_calls_on_groups_to_battle_for_bifab_help_1400_workers-14-nov-2017-152453-article/

The GMB union has urged the Scottish government and industry stakeholders to pull together and ‘battle’ for energy services firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), which is facing administration.

“This is a critical moment for the future of BiFab, its workers and the communities these yards support,” GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said in a union statement.

"Everyone with an interest in these workers, their communities and the welfare of the Scottish economy must pull together now and the Scottish government must lead this effort,” he added.

"This is a viable workforce and these are viable yards - important strategic assets - and they stand ready and able to help deliver the future of Scottish manufacturing. Letting these workers and their communities go under is not an option.” he continued.

BiFab is a Scottish based fabricator of structures for the oil and gas and offshore wind industries. It operates three facilities – Burntisland and Methil on the east coast of central Scotland, and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.

The company is a major employer in Scotland with a workforce of around 1,400 people across the three sites. This comprises 251 permanent staff, and 1,132 employed via agencies.

BiFab has confirmed to Rigzone that it is currently facing a ‘critical cash position as a result of a challenging situation regarding its ongoing contracts’.

The directors of the company have been seeking to secure ‘an immediate financial solution’ with its key stakeholders, according to a company statement, and are actively in discussion to consider options that will allow the business to continue trading.

BiFab said that it has taken steps ‘to protect the company’ via the filing of a Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators.  The company is not currently in administration and the directors have stated that they remain hopeful that a solution can be reached to secure the future of the business and the workforce.

"We are very disappointed that we have found ourselves in the current position which has arisen as a result of a challenging situation in respect of our ongoing contracts which have been providing much needed employment locally in Scotland,” Martin Adam, BiFab managing director, said in a company statement.

“We are seeking a rapid solution with our key stakeholders and the Scottish Executive to our current cash flow position and are hopeful that this can be achieved quickly to secure the future of the business and the 1,400 strong workforce,” he added.

On Monday, GMB said any loss of employment at BiFab would be a ‘hammer blow’ for the Scottish economy. The union has 440 members across the company’s three yards.

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