CWU backs workers’ fight to save Belfast’s Harland and Wolff

Union Matters

Northern Ireland regional secretary Dave Kennedy has expressed the CWU’s “full 100 per cent support” for Belfast’s Harland and Wolff workers who have been occupying their shipyard for the past week in a bid to keep it open.

Representatives from the GMB and Unite unions met with administrators earlier today and, according to GMB senior Northern Ireland organiser Denise Walker, a workforce meeting was due to be held this afternoon to report back to members.

Speaking at lunchtime, Denise said that the occupation of the yard was still in place and that, at the meeting, members would decide whether or not to invite the administrators onto the site.

Yesterday, the occupying workers held a “family day” at the site and Dave Kennedy took along donated snacks and drinks – as well as trade union solidarity.

“Our members fully back our fellow workers at Harland and Wolff and we 100 per cent agree with their key demand that the site should be nationalised to protect jobs and defend this vital industry,” he said.

“We’re proud to support them and if this government really means what they say about improving the lives of all the people, then saving this yard is a key test of their sincerity.”

Over the years, workers at this site have built some of the most famous vessels ever to set sail, including WWII naval cruiser HMS Belfast and ocean liner Titanic.

More recently, wind turbines – particularly those based out at sea – have been an important part of this yard’s work and the workforce is determined that this, along with its traditional shipwork, should continue to be done here.

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