Shipbuilding Clause to Shore Up Government Defense policy

Thursday, June 20, 2002
Senior Defense Minister Lord Bach told unions and MPs yesterday that a vital clause would be put on all future defense contracts guaranteeing that all sub contracting work will be done in the U.K. The move came after unions provided irrefutable evidence proving that Swan Hunters had blown a hole in the Government's promise that all warships would be built on the U.K. when, in fact, design and fabricated bow units for the Auxiliary Landing Ships was sent to Holland risking hundreds of jobs in Scotland. Unions belonging to the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineer Unions meeting in Glasgow today will demand that BAE Systems on the Clyde retain a design capacity guaranteeing 3000 jobs remaining at the two yards have a long term future. They will also press the Government to back plans to develop the super dry dock at Inch Green in Greenock to allow the Clyde to develop into commercial activity rather than relying on solely military contracts. John Wall, Amicus National Secretary, said: "Swan Hunter holed government policy on Shipbuilding below the water line when they took design work away from the centre of excellence on the Clyde and sent it to Holland where it had to be contracted out. "We very much welcome Lord Bach's response that a 'safeguarding clause' will be added to all future MoD contracts preventing repition. It is an example of the commitment from Government, employers and unions to retaining the Shipbuilding on the Clyde as an integrated design capable facility. "Without a design and development facility the Clyde has no long term future."
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