UK worker union GMB has slammed the UK government’s decision to put up an international tender for the construction of three Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, saying the decision “udermined the national interest”.
The union further said that all Royal Navy and RFA ships should be built domestically and has called for cross-parliamentary support of MPs as well as shipbuilding employers to join workers and their communities and demand “an end to this tragic missed opportunity for UK shipbuilding”.
The ships in question are the 40,000-ton fleet solid support ships which will be supplying UK aircraft carriers and other frontline warships with ammunition, food and spares.
The four tankers which will be supplying the Royal Navy fleet with fuel are built in South Korea and outfitted in the UK.
GMB says all Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels must be built in UK yards.
The union is calling for cross-parliamentary support of MPs as well as shipbuilding employers to join workers and their communities and demand an end to this tragic missed opportunity for UK shipbuilding.
“The RFA contracts are the key to unlocking the country’s massive shipbuilding potential and transforming the fortunes of our shipbuilding communities,” Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary, said.
“But Ministers’ refusal to put the UK’s interests first will mean that instead of a massive programme of shared economic and employment re-distribution, our shipbuilding firms will be competing against each other for slivers of complex warship work.”
The UK defense ministry has initiated an assessment phase to acquire the three MARS fleet solid support ships and under current plans has targeted main contract award by 2020.