Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Jobs Payback Time

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Jobs Payback Time

Article excerpt

Byline: By Gayle Tomlinson

Unions call on Government to repay North East's loyalty

Unions have called on the Government to repay Tyneside voters' loyalty and bring thousands of jobs to the yards.

The GMB today urged Labour to "return the favour" and give a shipbuilding contract to Swan Hunter in Wallsend.

Staff at Swan Hunter face the dole as work comes to an end on two Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels. The yard has no work in its order books before a pounds 3.5bn contract to build to aircraft carriers, starting in 2008.

GMB regional secretary Tom Brennan said: "It is time for this party to deliver to our people."

Already the yard has been forced to make redundancies, with the workforce down to under 700. Ten years ago the yard hired up to 7,000 people.

Hundreds of Tyneside workers have been forced to leave the area to find work abroad or in yards in the South.

GMB deputy convener at Swan Hunter Terry Telford added that workers had been loyal to Labour and now wanted to see results. …

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