Hundreds attend rally in support of shipyard workers

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HUNDREDS of people turned out in the pouring rain to support beleaguered shipyard workers at a rally in Portsmouth.

The fight back against the BAE cuts has begun as rallying cries were made by workers whose futures at the Portsmouth shipbuilding were dealt a devastating blow last week.

SUPPORT People gather in Commercial Road, Portsmouth

SUPPORT People gather in Commercial Road, Portsmouth

Almost 1,000 were told their jobs are to go as all shipbuilding is moved to Scotland.

Dockyard workers, joined by their families, waved placards at the Portsmouth Trades Council’s rally at the fountain in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, on Saturday.

Jon Woods, the Portsmouth Trades Council President, said: ‘With about 36 hours notice we got hundreds of people in the city centre showing their support for the dockyard workers.

‘Not only in this city, but across the country, we know the implications of cuts of this scale.

‘A thousand jobs in ship building are going, that means another 1,000 to 2,000 in the industry will go and the impact on the economy, poverty, and the rest of it is immense.’

Although there had been much speculation over the past year about what would happen many of the shipyard workers at the rally were still stunned by the news.

Chris Platts, a 31-year-old father of three, from Gosport, fears the only way he will get work is if he moves.

He said; ‘This is going to affect us big time.

‘It will mean I won’t be able to have a job at home, and that is the most important thing to me.

‘The only other option I have now is to work away. That will take me away from my family.

‘We have got to do what we can. We’ve got to rally together.’

Natty Booth, a 33-year-old electrician from Old Portsmouth found out when he was on honeymoon. He said: ‘I don’t know what the future holds.’

A protest march is planned for Saturday beginning at Trafalgar Gate.