Cammell Laird shipyard workers secure 8% pay rise

Cammell Laird shipyard workers have secured an 8% pay rise in “a brilliant victory” according to the Unite and GMB unions.

The deal for employees at the Birkenhead shipyard follows an announcement on 13 December that a new Mersey Ferry will be built at Cammell Laird as part of a £26m deal between the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the maritime firm.

More than 120 people will start work on what has been described as a “cleaner, greener vessel” for the Mersey and will be the first of its kind in more than six decades. Birkenhead’s MP welcomed the news, calling it “one of the best Christmas gifts my town could have wished for.”

More than 400 workers were reportedly preparing to take industrial action after being offered a 5.5% pay rise but following negotiations, this was increased to 8% with a 2% increase in pension contributions by Cammell Laird and a new 100% sick pay policy.

Alongside the new ferry, Cammell Laird is also contracted to build Royal Navy Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates which could have experienced significant delays due to industrial action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is a brilliant victory at a shipyard that is vital to the security of both shipbuilding jobs in the UK and to the defence of the nation.

“Our members should be proud of their hard-fought campaign that has seen them win a significant improvement in their pay and conditions and was only made possible by them being prepared to take industrial action.”

Albie McGuigan, GMB Organiser, said, “Workers at Cammell Laird demonstrated great unity and commitment throughout their recent campaign to improve pay and conditions. Negotiations were very difficult at times”

Following the ferry announcement, Mr Whitley said, “I am absolutely made up at the decision to build the new ferry at Cammell Laird. It will guarantee jobs, not just at the yard but in the wider supply chain and local economy. It will be a real boost to a local economy that has suffered too many blows in the past.”

He added, “The plans for a new Ferry have been on the table for discussion for a number of years now. I have worked closely with Steve Rotheram, Cammell Laird boss David McGinley, and the trade unions. My ceaseless lobbying on the issue was to ensure the ferry was built in Birkenhead. To have such an iconic vessel in Merseyside built in the Netherlands was not something either me or Steve Rotheram wanted.

“I made sure all parties knew my determination to change this scenario and together with Steve worked to overcome all the procurement obstacles and legal complications that stood in the way of the boat being built abroad – but fitted out here.”

Image: www.birkenhead2020.com

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