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Corbyn to speak at rally calling for renewable energy industry investment

The Scottish Trades Union Congress wants an industrial renaissance in the Fife region after it recently suffered job losses.

Jeremy Corbyn is to speak at a rally calling for a return to Fife’s ‘proud industrial history’ through the creation of renewable energy jobs in the region (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Jeremy Corbyn is to speak at a rally calling for a return to Fife’s ‘proud industrial history’ through the creation of renewable energy jobs in the region (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Conor Riordan, PA Scotland

Jeremy Corbyn is to speak at a rally in Fife which is calling for a return to its “proud industrial history” through the creation of renewable energy jobs in the region.

The Labour leader will address workers and trade unionists at the Fighting For Our Future march in Kirkcaldy on Saturday, where he is expected to highlight the need for “high-quality” employment.

Fife has recently suffered job losses at furniture makers Havelock, seen disputes over pay at whisky firm Diageo, and suffered a lack of work at the Bifab fabrication yards in Methil and Burntisland.

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The STUC has criticised a lack of work at the BiFab yards in Burntisland and Methil in Fife (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is “urgently” calling for plans to be put together which will create and retain “decent jobs” in the green sector.

General secretary Grahame Smith said: “Fife has a proud industrial history and we must see this return in the form of renewable jobs.

“Renewable energy is one of the key ways we can stop the tide of climate change, and, with the yards lying empty and the wind turbines sitting off the coast of Fife, it only makes sense to have the work carried out locally.

“There are workers standing ready to help deliver this work.

“Fife needs a real industrial strategy that will create the thousands of renewable jobs that have been promised over the years.

“We urge companies like EDF, SSE and Havelock to do the right thing and create jobs that will be good for the environment, good for workers and good for the local economy.”

The rally is the latest development in the Fife – Ready For Renewal campaign, which aims bring green industry jobs to the region.

It began when it was revealed that French-owned electric utility company EDF planned to ship work in fabricating wind turbine jackets abroad to Indonesia instead of building them in Fife yards.

These premises are 10 miles (16km) from the site of a proposed wind farm which will host the turbines.

Trade unions and workers are calling on the firm – as well as energy giants Red Rock and SSE, which have won contracts for large wind farms on Scotland’s east coast – to provide renewable contracts for the yards.

Mr Corbyn will be joined by Peter Grant MP, Annette Drylie and Tam Kirby of Fife Trades Council (FTC), co-leader of Fife Council David Alexander, and Claire Baker MSP.

The march is being organised by FTC with the support of STUC.

PA

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