Unions call for Ministerial intervention to ensure skills retention for future
March 10th: Michael Mulholland, Regional Organiser spokesperson for the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering representing his own union, the GMB, and Unite, responded to the announcement of jobs losses at Harland and Wolff:
“The announcement by Harland and Wolff management that they will be seeking up to sixty redundancies reflects the recent decline in the company’s order books. This is the latest bad news story for manufacturing in Belfast and Northern Ireland and follows hot on the heels of a large-scale redundancy announcement at Bombardier. It reflects the continuing crisis in the sector.
“Management will attempt to achieve this reduction through seeking volunteers among the workforce in the first instance. Both the GMB and Unite will engage fully with the employer to try and minimise the impact on our members and will work together to offer necessary employment support and advice services to affected members.
“Our unions are seeking assurances from the DETI and DEL Ministers that they will mandate relevant agencies to put in place a package for those affected, perhaps involving upskilling, which will mean that these skilled workers are available for the company, as and when they expand their workforce with an improving order book”, Mr Mulholland concluded.