GMB calls on Babcock and MPs to build new Isles of Scilly at Appledore 21 Nov 2018

GMB, the union for shipbuilders, has today called on Babcock and MPs in the South West to ensure a new Isles of Scilly ferry is built at Appledore.

The union has written to Babcock urging the company to consider this opportunity to save the historic shipyard.

GMB will also raise the possibility at a meeting with the CEO of Maritime UK on Monday.

The union has asked Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives and Penzance and Geoffrey Cox QC, MP for Torridge and West Devon, to seek support from Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister for Shipping, to come up with a solution to provide a new ferry for the Isles of Scilly.

With work on the new Type 31e Frigates and Fleet Solid support Ships potentially coming to Appeldore, the contract for the new Scilly Isles ferry could be enough to keep the shipyard afloat.

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer and Chair or CSEU Maritime, said:

“GMB demands that every opportunity that seeks to preserve the 163 year history of Appledore Shipyard must be explored.

“The statement from FRIST highlights some real potential in securing work to keep this historical shipyard open.

“Babcock is one of the lead consortiums bidding for the Type 31e Frigate Contract and are involved in a UK bid for the Fleet Solid Support ship contract.

“Surely work to build and provide a new ferry for the Isles of Scilly could provide a much needed solution to preserve jobs in Appledore in readiness for a potential share of the Frigate and/or FSS work.” 

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Don't forget to show your support by using #SaveAppledore or #197NotOut on Twitter and Facebook



GMB members across Blaenau Gwent will strike this week following a pay dispute.

On Wednesday [November 7, 2018] as union members employed by Aneurin Leisure Trust will take industrial action for a full working day.

GMB members rejected a revised pay offer from Aneurin Leisure Trust, the organisation that runs Leisure services on behalf of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

Unison and Unite, GMB’s sister unions also overwhelmingly rejected the revised pay offer of 1.5% increase, which was part funded with financial support from Blaenau Gwent CBC.

Across the leisure trust union members will be picketing trust facilities across the region for 24 Hours.

Gareth Morgans, GMB Officer, said:

“We regret having to take this action and in particular any inconvenience to the public, however our members feel they have no option.

“Whilst their former colleagues in local government have receive a minimum 2% pay increase across Blaenau Gwent, Wales and the UK, it can’t be right that workers are paid less for providing the same service and GMB is clear that this outsourcing agenda to drive down terms and conditions has to stop.

“This is a wakeup call to councils who think they can offload public services to the private or third sector to get away from national agreements and nationally agreed rates of pay.

“It’s unforgivable that the trust hasn’t budgeted for a pay rise, and that its negotiations started at a 0% increase with just access to a perk-box for discounted items, that members could not afford anyway.

“There are already stories of members of staff having to use foodbanks to get by, which is simply not good enough so we’re drawing a line in the sand.

“We won’t let this become a race to the bottom for our members.”

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GMB anger at ‘devastating’ decision to close Appledore Shipyard | News from GMB Wales & South West

GMB anger at ‘devastating’ decision to close Appledore Shipyard 1 Nov 2018

GMB has reacted with anger to the ‘devastating’ decision to close Appeldore Shipyard.

A total of 200 people are set to lose their jobs when the yard closes in March 2019.

Overnight the Government offered a £60 million deal to keep Appledore open. 

But despite this, Babcock announced their decision to close the yard this morning.

GMB and sister union Unite staged a mass rally to save the shipyard and handed in a nearly 10,000 petition to the Ministry of Defence and Babcock just this week calling on them to save this shipyard which is vital to both the local community and U.K. shipbuilding. 

Jake Mclean, GMB Rep at Appledore, said:

“This news is a devastating blow to the workforce and the local community.

“We want answers from the Government and Babcock about the package that was offered to save the yard.”

Matt Roberts, GMB Organiser, said:

"GMB is devastated to have been given this briefing today and our thoughts are all with the workforce and their families.

"Our members at Appledore are nothing short of incredible and they do not deserve this. Appledore is a truly special place with unique skills and talents.

"We all feel incredibly let down and wounded at the moment, but we will take stock, and analyse the details of what's been said today, and decide on our next steps as a workforce and union."

John Phillips, GMB regional Secretary for Wales and South West paid Tribute to the dignity and determination shown by GMB members and pledged that the Union would try to turn the position around:

“The announcement that Appledore shipyard will close is shattering news, and is yet another tragic example of betrayal of an industry with a proud history and heritage.

There needs to be maximum levels of transparency and integrity relating to both the detail of the Government’s offer of financial support and the decision of Babcock to reject it.

The GMB will continue to use its leverage to try and turn the position around, but in the meantime I must pay tribute to the dignity and determination shown by our members, activists and officers in running such a convincing campaign to save the yard and the highly-skilled jobs based there”.

You can join the GMB, Britain’s fastest growing Trade Union by clicking here. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Don't forget to show your support by using #SaveAppledore or #197NotOut on Twitter and Facebook

Plymouth Council becomes first to back MakingIt campaign | News from GMB Wales & South West

Plymouth Council becomes first to back MakingIt campaign 30 Oct 2018

Plymouth City Council has become the first council to sign up to GMB’s ‘Making It’ campaign, committing to support the manufacturing sector.

Plymouth is home to the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the South of England, with around 13,000 people employed in the sector.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Tudor Evans, signed off on a pledge to support the campaign, which calls for investment in manufacturing and strong UK-based supply chains to support local communities.

Councillor Evans said: 

"Our administration pledged to support Plymouth’s businesses and boost manufacturing, so I’m excited to sign up to GMB’s Making It campaign today as part of this promise to the city. By joining the campaign, we’re making a commitment to both Plymouth people employed in the sector and the next generation of manufacturers.

“We’re proud of our manufacturing heritage and will focus on investing in the sector, with the aim of bringing more jobs and prosperity to the city. We’re also investing in skills programmes like Building Plymouth to develop a highly skilled adaptable workforce, ensuring local people benefit from these jobs.”

Matt Roberts, GMB Organiser, said: 

“We’re pleased that Plymouth City Council have signed up to our campaign and recognise the importance of manufacturing, and manufacturing jobs, to the South West.

“Around 13,000 jobs in Plymouth are based in manufacturing, with over 7,000 of those in transport and shipping. These jobs pay substantially more than the average in other sectors so they are vital to a strong and diverse economy.

“As we move into an uncertain period over Brexit, it’s vital that we champion British manufacturing, and we’re extremely pleased that Plymouth City Council will take a leading role in this.”

You can find out more about the campaign at You can join the GMB, Britain’s fastest growing Trade Union by clicking here