Belfast Telegraph

Labour's Corbyn offers support hailing courage of Belfast shipyard workers

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during the Trades Union (TUC) Congress in Brighton. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during the Trades Union (TUC) Congress in Brighton. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged support to groups of workers involved in pay and jobs disputes after meeting Belfast shipyard workers.

After delivering a speech to the TUC Congress in Brighton, he met workers who have been occupying the Harland and Wolff shipyard and striking health workers from Lincolnshire who have been taking industrial action against the county council over a pay freeze.

He said: "These are courageous workers who are taking action to protect their jobs.

"In the case of Harland and Wolff, workers are protecting the whole shipbuilding industry in Belfast, which would otherwise be condemned to the history books and replaced with apartments and a museum of shipbuilding.

"I was very moved by the passion of experienced health workers who care so deeply for the communities they serve, but who see first hand the damaging effects of austerity.

"I was honoured to meet and stand alongside these striking trade union members, all of them full of determination and dedication to their profession.

"Labour will treat our workers with the respect they deserve and will be on their side, not the side of asset strippers and austerity."

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Employees of Harland and Wolff during their protest at the gates of the shipyard in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)
Employees of Harland and Wolff during their protest at the gates of the shipyard in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

The shipyard, which built the Titanic entered administration in August under business advisers BDO. Around 120 jobs and the future of the yard are at risk although a number of parties have expressed an interest in taking control of the site.

There has been speculation trade union Unite may stand two workers as candidates in North and East Belfast, seats which are held by the DUP, if there was to be a snap general election.

Work halted at Harland and Wolff when administrators moved in at the start of August (Liam McBurney/PA)
Work halted at Harland and Wolff when administrators moved in at the start of August (Liam McBurney/PA)

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