Union official calls for more permanent shipbuilding jobs in Portsmouth

John Ferrett

John Ferrett

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A union negotiator is calling for permanent shipyard jobs to be filled at BAE Systems’ Portsmouth base.

Prospect trade union official John Ferrett spoke out after 100 agency workers were released from their work there.

Painters, fitters, electricians and welders employed through Fareham-based recruitment agency Matchtech are now no longer required following completion of their work on the second of three Oman corvette ships.

Despite some workers saying they were unhappy about the move, BAE Systems insisted the move was above board and not in breach of their contracts as they knew what would happen from the start.

Mr Ferrett said: ‘We don’t want just people being hired on a short-term basis.

‘But we recognise that in order to have permanent workers you need a steady flow of work.

‘We want as many permanent workers as possible.’

Work is now focused on the internal fitting of the ship so the agency workers are no longer needed.

Up to 250 workers from the agency with different skills remain on site.

Those who have left are still under contract with Matchtech and will be given work elsewhere.

The second Oman corvette is expected to be finished sometime next month.

A BAE spokeswoman said: ‘We have a well-recognised resourcing strategy whereby we engage agency workers to enable us to respond to fluctuations in workload requirements.

‘As we prepare for the delivery of the second Oman corvette, the workload requirements have reduced, and as such we are releasing a number of agency workers at Portsmouth.’

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