HMS Queen Elizabeth naming is bittersweet for workers

Employees from BAE and guests watched a large screen in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as the Queen named the the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. (l-r) Kevin Nightingale, Paul Shutt and Bruce James. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141643-5)
Employees from BAE and guests watched a large screen in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as the Queen named the the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. (l-r) Kevin Nightingale, Paul Shutt and Bruce James. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141643-5)
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SHIPBUILDERS can be proud of their hard work, said the director of BAE Systems’ naval base services.

James Davies addressed the crowd that gathered at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard to see the official naming ceremony of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

He said it was a proud moment for the workers who helped construct the ship in Portsmouth.

‘It is a proud moment for all those involved in the build process here in Portsmouth,’ he told The News.

‘It is a reminder for us on the services side that the ship will be here in less than two-and-a-half years’ 
time.

‘So it will be a proud moment when the ship arrives.

‘That underpins 3,500 roles in Portsmouth, so that allows us to invest in the future and the infrastructure.’

But for the shipbuilders who helped construct the aircraft carrier, it was a bittersweet day.

John Ferrett, negotiations officer for the Prospect union, said: ‘There were mixed feelings yesterday among the workforce.

‘We are immensely proud that we have helped design and build the carrier.

‘But a lot of the workers will be leaving the business in September and have redundancy letters in their pockets.’