Scottish minister to attend summit on future of Ferguson Marine shipyard

The GMB Scotland union announced the news at the STUC congress in Dundee.

Scottish minister to attend summit on future of Ferguson Marine shipyard PA Media

A senior Scottish Government minister has agreed to take part in a summit on the future of the Ferguson Marine shipyard.

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Mairi McAllan will attend the second cross-party summit where crucial talks will be held on how to deliver new contracts for the troubled shipyard.

Announcing the plans at the STUC congress in Dundee, the GMB Scotland union said it will facilitate the discussions next month between all those invested in the shipyard’s future.

It comes after McAllan attended the launch of the Glen Rosa last week, promising to stand with the shipyard “long into the future”.

The Glen Rosa and its sister vessel Glen Sannox – both built at the Port Glasgow shipyard – have been hit by significant delays and overspends.

The Glen Rosa had a target date of September next year for when it will first carry passengers on the Clyde and Hebrides network.

Meanwhile, the Glen Sannox undertook sea trials earlier in the year.

Speaking at the conference in Dundee, Alex Logan, GMB convener at Ferguson Marine, announced Ms McAllan would attend the next summit, adding he hoped it would bring “urgent reassurance” on future contracts for the shipyard.

He called for the Scottish Government to award the contract for seven small CalMac ferries to the yard urgently to “protect jobs” which are crucial to Inverclyde.

Logan said: “We have been clear to the Scottish Government that if they want to secure a future for the yard and jobs there, then it needs investment to modernise the yard and make it more competitive.

“We need a direct award of the small ferries which we have a track record in building and continued public ownership.

“Like many of the workers at Ferguson Marine before me, I have been a shipbuilder there all of my life. What we are fighting for now is the future of the generations to come.”

McAllan said: “I have been absolutely clear that I will leave no stone unturned when it comes to securing a sustainable future for Ferguson Marine and for wider shipbuilding on the Clyde.

“I am looking forward to attending this summit in the interests of collaborating with GMB Scotland, the yard, the workers and all stakeholders who share this objective.

“The best way for Ferguson Marine to secure future work is to improve its competitiveness. Direct award is legal only in strictly limited circumstances under public procurement rules. The Scottish Government is currently considering future vessel contracts from public agencies, including the Small Vessel Replacement Programme, to determine whether any might legally be open to direct award.”

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