Harland & Wolff occupation ends in victory as bid for iconic shipyard is accepted

Save Our YardJackie Pollock: “When working people organise, everyone wins” 

Landmark win will boost confidence of NI workers

October 1st: Welcoming this morning’s announcement that the shipyard has been bought with jobs and full terms and conditions secured Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock said that the dramatic turnaround in the iconic shipyard’s fortunes was due solely to the determination of the workforce who refused to accept the loss of their jobs and skills.  Today’s news follows a nine-week occupation of the shipyard by workers, supported by their unions. 

“On July 29th, following a week of speculation and the threat of imminent closure, workers at Harland & Wolff took matters into their own hands and occupied the site. While politicians on all sides threw up their hands, claiming that the shipyard could not be saved and efforts should be focused on securing redundancy payments, the workers stepped up and took control.  

“Few commentators believed they would be win, but as trade unionists they had belief in the power of collective action.  Now, the Administrator is preparing letters requesting our members return to work this week following the acceptance of bid from Infrastrata which will not only save jobs but lay the foundations for the yard’s expansion. 

“This is one of the most significant victories won by trade unions in Northern Ireland, and it is due to the efforts of the workers themselves supported by their unions and officials. 

“Today’s lesson is clear: when working people organise, everyone wins!”, Mr Pollock said.

Congratulating the workers and their shop stewards on their victory, Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald said that the workforce had not only rescued their own jobs but had laid the foundations for a new sense of self-confidence among working class people:  

“Harland and Wolff workers have defied the cynics to show that decisive, militant and organised action can secure real victories. As well as safeguarding their own futures, the workers have sent a message that will be heard across Northern Ireland, most immediately by Wrightbus workers in Ballymena facing a crisis not of their own making. It is a mark of the decency of this workforce that this week, instead of just celebrating, they are planning to make their way to Ballymena to stand with union workers there. 

“With this new company we look forward to pushing to have our members focussed on what they do best, that is ship building and green energy infrastructure. Northern Ireland’s skillbase is our most valuable asset, and it is an asset workers are determined to defend – whether in Belfast or in Ballymena”, Ms Fitzgerald concluded.

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5 Responses to Harland & Wolff occupation ends in victory as bid for iconic shipyard is accepted

  1. Paul Cole says:

    Will you tell the workers and the public what due diligence checks you have carried out on InfraStrata, a company with no track record, no money, shares <0.4p, failed projects already in Northern Ireland. Islandmagee Gas Caverns project far from finalised. A company quoted on the AIM casino not regulated Stock Market.

    • Ardal Craig says:

      New ceo has experience running shipyards I believe. Also has v good contacts.

      • Paul Cole says:

        What experience running shipyards do you believe he has? Still waiting for a reply from Unite about due diligence. No hurry. Only two and a half months since I asked.

  2. Simon Read says:

    Who will be paying the wages now at HandW?

  3. Pingback: NSSN 455: Victories at Harland & Wolff, Hull and BEIS show that workers’ action can win | National Shop Stewards Network

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