Ministers to blame for Appledore closing, shipbuilder tells congress

12 Jun 2019
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The Government’s is to blame for the Appledore closure, a shipbuilder has told GMB congress.

The closure resulted in the loss of 200 Jobs on the river Torridge, hitting the communities of North Devon.

Jake McLean, GMB Rep at Appledore Shipyard received a standing ovation as he told GMB’s Annual Congress in Brighton the Government’s inertia and lack of an industrial strategy were the key reasons why the yard closed.

Jake McLean, former Appledore worker, told GMB Congress:

“Appledore is the latest in a line of yards that has been starved of the oxygen of work supply by a Government obsessed with the free market ethic and putting everything out to international tender.

“This propped-up Tory administration simply hides behind the bureaucracy of EU regulations to justify its’ policy of subjecting key build initiatives to overseas competition.

“When those very same potential bidders are able to build logistics ships free of any threat to a process, that leads only to a race to the bottom.

“Working at Appledore was much more than just doing a job. It was a cohesive community of interests, a way of life really for generation after generation, where skills and knowledge were handed down from father to son, and where you were sorted out as a person.

“Shipbuilding is in our blood in North Devon with every single ship leaving the dock being built with an immense sense of pride and passion.

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