HUNDREDS of Tyneside ship conversion workers have been made redundant by Cammell Laird just days after the group reported record half-year results and signed an historic deal to recognise trade unions.
The ship repair and conversion specialist gave notice to more than 500 contract workers at its Hebburn yard on Tyneside last Friday, despite three days earlier revealing a more than 70% hike in profits to over £8m. Turnover across the group rose by 50% to £61.7m.
Only last Monday, management met union delegates from the GMB and AEEU at 10 Downing Street for a signing attended by the prime minister, which gives Cammell Laird employees union recognition.
Just 350 workers are now left at the yard, bringing the total of jobs shed by the five major yards on the Tyne since 1997 to over 11,000.
Hebburn’s contract workers had just converted two roll-on-roll-off vessels into cable-laying ships for Global Marine, but the yard has so far failed to secure further orders.
Chief executive Brett Martin insisted the jobs had not been axed: `It is a temporary dip in our workforce and we have great hopes of re-employing everybody when orders come in.’
The group is competing for a £240m Ministry of Defence order to build six roll-on-roll-off ferries, and is hoping to clinch an order for 10 ferries for the Philippines.