Frank Field says there's 'sense of urgency' to safeguard jobs at Cammell Laird

Wirral Globe - 28 Nov 2018

BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field has said that there is a 'sense of urgency' in safeguarding hundreds of jobs at Cammell Laird.

The independent MP has supported the yard's bids for two major shipbuilding orders, one to build new frigates for the Royal Navy and the building of the new Mersey Ferry.

In October, the Birkenhead shipyard revealed plans to cut around 300 jobs which unions say is 'unnecessary'.

Last month he wrote to the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to present the case for the shipyard to win the contract to build the Royal Navy's new Tyle 31e frigates and emphasised the benefits this would give to the North West economy.

He also written to Business Secretary Greg Clark and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to seek their backing for the new Mersey Ferry to be built at Cammell Laird.

Mr Field believes that these contracts should 'safeguard' jobs at the Birkenhead shipyard.

He told the Globe: "There is a real sense of urgency around the need to safeguard jobs at Cammell Laird.

"The sure-fire way of being able to do so is to keep bidding for and winning major shipbuilding orders.

"I am battling hard to support the yard on this front.

"I have been to Downing Street to make the case both for Laird’s to be awarded a contract to build new frigates for the Royal Navy, and crucially for the process of determining the new Mersey Ferry order to be speeded up.

"I am active every single day in trying to help secure these vital orders and, crucially, to save these many hundreds of jobs."

On Tuesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged his support to the union members who are staging a three-week walk out over the job losses.

Mr Corbyn said: "Solidarity with Unite and GMB members at Cammell Laird shipyard.

"They're starting three weeks of industrial action to save their jobs as bosses undermine skilled workers and job security.

"Labour stands with you."

Lauren Jones, Wirral Globe