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Merseyside shipyard workers to strike over plans to axe a further 291 jobs

SHIPYARD workers on Merseyside are to strike after their industry suffered a second hammer blow to jobs in the space of a month.

Workers at the historic Cammell Laird Shipyard in Birkenhead voted today for action against management plans to axe 291 jobs – nearly 40 per cent of the workforce – by next March.

The announcement came within days of the closure of Appledore shipyard in Devon being announced by engineering giant Babcock International, with the loss of 199 skilled jobs.

The Appledore shutdown was blamed on government dithering over the award of a contract to build naval support vessels.

At Cammell Laird, general union GMB said a ban on overtime will be implemented, followed by “sustained strike action,” but no dates have been given yet.

Regional organiser Albie McGuigan said: “This proposed redundancy of 291 highly skilled workers and support staff is a deliberate attempt to restructure through redundancy and place the future of a loyal workforce in peril.

“If this decision is not reversed, it will lead to untold hardship for the redundant workers and their families.

“We have recently put to the company a credible alternative that could avert the first group being made redundant in December.

“If the company agree, it would allow time to re-evaluate the workload throughout January and into February 2019.

“However, to date we have no commitment from the company that they will reconsider their decision to dismiss 40 per cent of the workforce.

“The members have made this decision to defend jobs now.”

Peter Lazenby is the Morning Star’s Northern Reporter.

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