BiFab Workers Rally in Scotland
Burntisland Fabrications ltd (BiFab) workers and their families have rallied in Edinburgh, Scotland, to urge members of parliament to help staff at the energy services firm, which is facing the threat of administration.
The demonstration, which included a march from Johnston Terrace to the Scottish parliament this morning, was organized by the GMB union, which took to Twitter yesterday to call on members, politicians and the public to join the ‘battle for BiFab’.
Join the #BattleForBiFab - @GMBScotOrg will be marching from 10am tomorrow, then lobbying outside Scottish Parliament at 11. Details here: https://t.co/9AKczGXBi8 Please go along or share this to show your support 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/0pLOK3flvN— GMB Union (@GMB_union) 15 November 2017
Several people have taken to the social media site today to show their support for the workers, under the hashtag #BattleforBiFab.
Joint trade union representatives met Wednesday with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, to press the case for urgent stakeholder intervention to keep BiFab afloat, the GMB union revealed in an organization statement.
Trade unions now believe that SSE, the largest stakeholder in the $3.4 billion (GBP 2.6 billion) Beatrice Windfarm Limited project, holds the key to resolving a contractual payments dispute between BiFab and Dutch contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), which awarded BiFab a $131 million (GBP 100 million) contract for the manufacture of 26 offshore wind turbine jackets a year ago.
“The Scottish government told us they can see a path out of this crisis. But it’s a path blocked by Scotland’s biggest energy company SSE remaining at loggerheads with the main Dutch-owned contractor SHL,” Pat Rafferty, the Unite union's Scottish secretary, said in an organization release.
“The dedication and professionalism of our trade union members, who are working for free to defend their futures and their industry, should send a loud and clear message to all stakeholders and politicians - this is a workforce that must be saved,” he added.
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith reiterated the message that losing BiFab workers was simply not an option.
“It’s time for everyone to stand up and be counted. Letting these workers and their communities go under is not an option,” he said in a union release.
Earlier this week, BiFab 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.
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