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Lairds bosses "optimistic" despite job losses

by Nick Webster. Published Wed 18 Mar 2009 09:22, last updated: 18/03/09
John Syvret
John Syvret

Workers at the recently re-launched Cammell Laird Shipyard are facing lay-off and redundancies because of a gap in orders.

The Birkenhead yard which employs around 500 workers and insists the decision is not related to the recession, but followed the completion of larfe military and commercial contracts.

Laird's Chief Executive John Syvret said: "The shipyard industry is a contract related business which means there are peaks in demand for work.

"The company increased the workforce over the last 12 months in order to undertake some large military and commercial contracts.

"These were completed over a month ago and whilst we have won other contracts they are not large enough to sustain the enlarged numbers of personnel. The company is actively pursuing other contracts and is optimistic that we will continue to be successful."

The firm, relaunched last year, said it had grown significantly recently and had recently been awarded preferred bidder status for sections of a future aircraft carrier.

Officials said they were optimistic that the company will be successful in the coming months, which will see shipbuilding return to the Mersey.

Cammell Laird Managing Director Linton Roberts said: "Cammell Laird is principally a marine contractor which means we will always have peaks in demand.

"It is essential that the company manages such peaks in an open, professional manner working in partnership with the trade unions.

"We are committed to the workforce and local communities and are investing heavily in our apprentice training programmes."

The GMB and Unite unions said: "We have been working together with the company to minimise compulsory redundancies. The company has agreed to seek volunteers and offer members incentives to take some holidays between now and June.

"Cammell Laird has always recognised the positive role that trade unions play in building a successful business and we will continue to support its efforts to win work for the local community whilst understanding it is primarily a contracting business."



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