Socialist Worker

Occupation continues at stricken Belfast shipyard

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2666

Harland and Wolff workers are fighting the closure of their shipyard

Harland and Wolff workers are fighting the closure of their shipyard (Pic: GMB )


Workers at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast have voted to continue their occupation of the site.

The move came as administrators were due to formally lodge papers at the High Court on Tuesday.

Harland and Wolff faces closure after its Norwegian parent company Dolphin Drilling failed to find a buyer.

Workers have occupied the site since last Monday.

They emerged from a meeting chanting “Save our Shipyard,” and “Nationalise now.”

Steel worker and union representative Joe Passmore said, “The workforce wish to continue with the occupation until we find a way to continue shipbuilding and heavy industry in Belfast.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell visited the shipyard site on Monday afternoon. The yard was nationalised in 1975 but privatised in 1989.

Susan Fitzgerald from the Unite union said, “People are still doing their work, so it’s appropriate to call it a work-in up to today.

“But no one is going to go in and remove anything of value, no one is going to go in and take over the running of that site because workers have access and control all areas.”

For more on the dispute go to bit.ly/Harlandoccupation

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