As a rally was held today (July 30) to save the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey sent protesting workers a message of solidarity.
He said, “I want to pay tribute to each and every one of you fighting determinedly – and rightly – for a future for this iconic yard.
“When I think of shipbuilding in Belfast, I think Harland and Wolff. Of the generations who have given their all to make this yard a success and put UK shipbuilding on the global map. I think of the communities built on the skills and wages of the workforce.
“And then I get angry that once again working people are being let down and abandoned by disinterested politicians and greedy businesses.
“Your response to their catastrophic failure of ideology, their absence of creativity, their insulting disinterest is to say ‘enough’.
“Your spirit and determination is an inspiration to our movement.
“If Boris Johnson and Andrea Leadsom had even an ounce of your vision and courage then this yard would be safe today and into the future.
“Your union fully supports the demand for nationalisation of Harland and Wolff. This is a viable enterprise, and you, the workers – who know the situation best – have identified potential business which could turn the shipyard around.
“It would be scandalous if one of Boris Johnson’s first acts is to abandon this shipyard and the workers. Unite will never stand by and let this happen.
“We take our lead from you. You are fighting back – you refuse to let you yard and your streets fall quiet – and you will have your union with you every step of the way.
“Solidarity my friends.”