BiFab Crisis Continues with No Money Left for Staff Wages

BiFab facility in Methil; Image: BOWL/ archive (cropped)

The BiFab management informed trade unions on 13 November that there was no money to pay the wages of their staff. Problems that led BiFab to being a few steps away from going into administration have emerged from a dispute over payments with Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), who awarded BiFab with the fabrication of 26 Beatrice jacket foundations. 

This is according to GMB Scotland, a Scottish arm of the UK trade union that got into the matter to protect the BiFab workforce, who informed that people working for the company had been told on 12 November to report to work as normal, while the next day GMB was told that the company has no money left to pay its workers’ wages due to the cash flow problem with SHL.

On the evening of 13 November, GMB urged the Scottish Government and industry stakeholders to pull together and battle for BiFab, since a total of 1,400 jobs – both direct and in the supply chain – are under threat.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said: “Everyone with an interest in these workers, their communities and the welfare of the Scottish economy must pull together now and the Scottish Government must lead this effort. This is a viable workforce and these are viable yards – important strategic assets – and they stand ready and able to help deliver the future of Scottish manufacturing. Letting these workers and their communities go under is not an option.”

BiFab’s GBP 100 million contract with SHL, secured in 2016, has been sustaining employment at the Burntisland and Methil yards in Fife and also at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.

“We’ve got to battle for BiFab,” Smith stressed.

Offshore WIND contacted Seaway Heavy Lifting for a statement on the matter on 14 November, with the company still left to respond.

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