Shipbuilders attack Salmond for refusing to meet them or answer basic questions about why their jobs are a price worth paying for separation.
Senior Scottish Labour politicians are campaigning with workers and trade union leaders at BAE Systems in Scotstoun today about the positive role the UK plays in creating jobs in Scotland and the risk to jobs posed by independence.
John Reid, Johann Lamont, Margaret Curran and Anas Sarwar met with workers at the Glasgow yard to discuss their concerns, at the start of a day of campaigning to highlight the SNP’s risk to Scottish jobs in industries from shipbuilding, the civil service, to financial services.
They also received a letter from 20 young shipbuilders, at the outset of their careers, addressed to Alex Salmond. Johann Lamont promised to deliver the letter to Alex Salmond on their behalf, if he continues to refuse to meet the workers.
John Reid said:
“Scottish shipbuilders are legendary and these workers are some of the best, and most skilled, in Scotland. Meeting them again this morning just reminds us all that we're voting no for better jobs, we're voting no for more jobs, we're voting no for a stronger Scotland. For these workers, and a million Scots like them, the United Kingdom really is a job creation machine.
“Instead of the risk to jobs of separation, people across Scotland can have faster, better, safer change with more powers for the Scottish Parliament guaranteed, backed up by the strength and security of the United Kingdom."
Johann Lamont said:
“Alex Salmond views these jobs as a price worth paying for his separation project.
"For the length of this campaign, Alex Salmond has refused to meet them to discuss their future, despite the warnings that independence would put their jobs at risk.
“With only a few days until people across Scotland vote, Alex Salmond should come here to the Clyde – as we have done this morning – and tell these men and women what will happen to their jobs. And if he won't agree to meet them I'll deliver their letter to him myself."
Paul Sweeney, a young worker in Scotstoun, said:
“I want answers from Alex Salmond. He's got time to go on a victory tour but not to meet me or my colleagues here on the Clyde. He has no credible plan for the continuation of shipbuilding on the Clyde in the event of separation. He says that all that matters is independence, but he won't even give us basic answers on our industry, our jobs, our futures.
“As part of the UK, I know we will continue to have a bright future building ships for the Royal Navy at a state-of the-art new shipyard. With independence, and the absence of any credible plan for shipbuilding, shipbuilding here won’t survive.”