Babcock, the company that operates both the Rosyth and Devonport dockyards, has indicated that it is prepared to move the overhaul work on HMS Scott, the Royal Navy’s only ocean survey vessel, from Devonport, which has a comparatively full order book, to Rosyth, where 250 potential job losses were announced on Monday, 4 December.
However, it appears that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) wishes the work to be carried out at Devonport or Falmouth on the basis of the crew’s choice not to have to travel to Rosyth, despite the fact that it’s likely the work would be completed quicker in Rosyth than on the south coast.
“On behalf of those members facing a bleak Christmas at the risk of redundancy, Prospect is more than disappointed at this decision by the MoD, which seems to be based on crew convenience, rather than any sensible economic or workload metrics,” said Richard Hardy, Prospect national secretary for Scotland.
Babcock is also bidding for a major package of work overhauling the Navy’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers, which will provide a substantial amount of work for a number of years. If done at Rosyth, where it could be done quicker than at other yards, this package of work could also help offset the current redundancy crisis.
“Any work coming into Rosyth will help stave off job losses. HMS Scott will help, but the award of the Type 45 contract is a vital piece of the jigsaw in offsetting redundancies and securing the future of the yard,” said Hardy.
“This is a strategic workforce and the other yards competing have much fuller order books than Rosyth, so it makes sense to award the work to Rosyth.
“We’re working positively with the senior team at Babcock and we will now start to lobby on this issue with our contacts in MoD, in Westminster and at Holyrood.”