UNION

Landmark victory for Harland and Wolff workers as yard saved

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01 Oct 2019
Press Office

Press Office

Tributes have been paid to the role of workers in securing a landmark victory which will see administrators issue a return to work at the iconic Harland and Wolff shipyard.

Return to work notices are expected to be issued this week following the acceptance of a bid for the yard.

The development follows an occupation of the yard by the workforce by more than 100 workers, 24-hours a day for nine weeks.

Not prepared to watch their yard moth balled or picked over by asset strippers, workers took the brave decision to stand together to save their jobs for the current workforce and for generations yet to come

Denis Walker, GMB Senior Organiser

The iconic Belfast shipyard was placed into administration on 8 August after its troubled Norwegian parent company, Dolphin Drilling, failed to find a buyer in a process that started in December 2018.

While the workers are still technically employed – they have not been paid for weeks.

GMB and Unite have ensured the continuation of the employment contracts, through the administrator BDO, and workers are expected to return to work in the coming days.

Denise Walker, GMB Senior Organiser said:

“While politicians substituted sympathy for action, dedicated workers took control of the situation and of their workplace. This news proves they were absolutely correct in their assertions that this was a yard with a future.

“Not prepared to watch their yard moth balled or picked over by asset strippers, workers took the brave decision to stand together to save their jobs for the current workforce and for generations yet to come.

“Their campaign has ensured that Harland and Wolff will not only continue but will be in a position to expand and fulfil its potential as a lynchpin of Northern Ireland’s economy”.

 

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