The Larbour Party on the Western Isles has lashed out at the SNP Government over the jobs crisis at Arnish with prospective Labour candidate Alison MacCorquodale calling for urgent action to protect jobs at BiFab Arnish and to ensure a flow of work which will give future security to the yard.
Ms MacCorquodale said: "Once again we see the threat of redundancy hanging over Arnish workers. The lack of certainty and continuity is a disgrace which flows directly from the Scottish Government's failure to invest in and properly support the offshore renewables industry.
"Arnish is dependent on BiFab but they are left at the tail-end of a chain, fighting for crumbs from the big offshore wind contracts because of lack of investment in the Fife yards.
"The SNP has had a decade to prepare for the certainty of offshore wind developing in a big way off the Scottish coast, yet nothing has been done to put the necessary infrastructure in place to compete for major orders.
"Indeed, the only reason Arnish is in a position to carry out the work passed on to it is the investment which took place under previous Labour administrations, specifically with the renewables market in mind."*
She said that unless there was a change of policy and a real commitment to investment in renewables infrastructure, Arnish would remain a "stop-start innocent victim" of failings elsewhere.
UK Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said:"It is an outrage that these workers are still facing uncertain futures. It's quite straightforward - BiFab needs certainty and investment just like other green industries of the future. Labour, through our National Transformation Fund and National Investment Bank, will provide the investment that Scotland needs in places like the Arnish yard in the Western Isles.
"Labour is absolutely committed to tackling the climate emergency but we will not do that by watching our engineering base lose out on work. A Labour Government will take a far greater role in planning this part of our economy so we can protect existing industries and jobs as well as creating new ones as part of our green industrial revolution. And I can tell you this, that if the Scottish Government - just like the Tory UK Government - won’t, we will make the investment that our green industries need as soon as we get elected."