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The Arnish BiFab yard will see the departure of 35 workers today (Friday November 15th) – with 15 more workers to lose their jobs next week.

The yard’s owner, DF Barnes yesterday confirmed that 50 jobs were going from the company, but said they were confident about future contracts.

Workers union GMB challenged politicians to come down and face the workers losing jobs before Christmas, rather than continually talking about possible future contracts.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty and GMB Scotland Scottish secretary, Gary Smith said: “This latest development in Arnish is part of a long running and sorry saga regarding the abject failure of the Scottish and UK governments to ensure working-class communities benefit from the so-called green revolution.

“To date minimal work and minimal jobs have been directly created in Scotland by the billions of pounds being invested into the renewables sector. It’s a national scandal and politicians must be held to account.”

Labour’s candidate for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency in the current General Election, Alison MacCorquodale, said today that there was a real risk of the Arnish yard being mothballed unless urgent action is taken.

She said it would be "a miserable Christmas present" for the Arnish workforce to have job losses and the threat of further pay-offs hanging over them. She added: "I am in close touch with the unions and will support any action they can take".

The Arnish workers have been working on the construction of 100 pin piles for the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm since March, with regular shipments leaving Stornoway and the contract expected to be completed by the second week of December.
Project manager Ian Potts told last week: “We have also taken on a very small bit of work for Quinn Drilling who are doing work on the new marina, but it is very minor ¬- four small piles to be modified.”

GMB spokesman Gary Smith told the industry newsletter Energy Voice today: “We’ve got politicians of all stripes on the campaign trail telling us about the jobs of the future. I’d ask them to come to Arnish and tell our members who are facing unemployment for Christmas all about it.”

Picture: BiFab Arnish