SNP call on Executive to act now to save Ferguson's

17 June 2005
MEP Alyn Smith and MSP Bruce McFee today called on Ross Finnie and the Scottish Executive to keep Fergusons shipyard alive. Mr Smith was commenting after the DTI announced they would support Fergusons allegations of unfair competition against the Polish Remontowa shipyard.

The yard is to be investigated after the SNP and Fergusons met with European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes in Strasbourg last week (7th June)

Speaking from Brussels Mr Smith said

"Finnie now has no reason not to award the contracts for these ships to Fergusons and give the yard the vital lifeline it needs. Maybe now his masters in London have told him what to do we'll get some action out of the Minister. So far there has been absolutely no assistance or action from the Executive to support the yard. These contracts must be awarded as soon as possible. Redundancy notices are already being handed out.

"I wrote to Ross Finnie last week with the outcome of our meeting with the Commissioner, outlining the action that could be taken to save the yard. If he was too scared to act without London's backing, he has no excuses left now."

Local MSP Bruce McFee said

"The Executive have dragged their feet for too long on this issue. They have been aware of the problems and have failed at every opportunity to represent the best interests of Scottish industry and Scottish workers. The intervention of the DTI leaves them without a shred of credibility. The Executive must now end this disgraceful situation and transfer the orders immediately to the Port Glasgow yard."

"The issue is not can the yard be saved but when will it be saved. Fergusons should never have had to go through this battle to win contracts for Scottish ships from the Scottish Executive. There really is no alternative for Finnie, he must award the contracts to Fergusons otherwise 400 people in Port Glasgow could soon be loosing their jobs."


Note for information

Fergusons are currently waiting to here if they have been successful in bids for two fisheries protection vessels and an order from Caledonian MacBrayne.

A letter was sent from Alyn to Ross Finnie on the 10th June, detailing the meeting with the Commissioner and the options available to the Executive to support Fergusons.