Calls have been made for 50 staff who left Ferguson Marie to be brought back immediately as the first act of the new management team.
Martin McCluskey, Labour’s general election candidate for Inverclyde, is urging finance secretary Derek MacKay to ensure the employees who departed last week amid uncertainty over the future of the business are now brought back.
Around 50 agency staff were pulled from the shipyard by their employer prior to Friday’s announcement that the Scottish Government had assumed control from Clyde Blowers Capital – the firm owned by Jim McColl that saved the Ferguson’s from the scrapheap in 2014 and oversaw a radical transformation of the site costing almost £30 million.
Minister Mr MacKay has brokered a deal with administrators Deloitte to retain the remaining 300 workers whilst ‘seeking a buyer’ over the next four week. If a commercial operator cannot be found, the government will take over.
Mr MacKay says the deal secures the long-term future of Ferguson’s, its staff and will allow the long-awaited completion of CalMac ferries MV Glen Sannox and Hull 802 – the hugely delayed and over budget £97 million government contract that brought the company to its keens for the second time in five years.
In a letter sent to the finance secretary, Mr McCluksey said:
“There are three things that I believe the Government now needs to do. Firstly publish a plan to secure the long-term future of the yard, and to ensure that the number of jobs at Ferguson’s is sustained well into the future. This means ensuring a full order book well beyond the two ferries that are currently being built.
Secondly, re-employ the workers who where laid off last weekend. Their skills are essential to completing the two ferries and for the future work at the yard.
Thirdly, ensure there is worker representation from the GMB on the board of the new company. The workers at Ferguson’s know the yard inside out and should play a key role in its recover. They should not be outside the room when decisions are taken. These proposals would provide additional confidence to the public and the workforce”.