Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), a UK-based fabrication company building facilities for offshore energy industries, is on the verge of collapse and the unions are calling for the government to help.
According to GMB Scotland union, the union urged the Scottish government and industry stakeholders to pull together “and battle for the financially-stricken fabrication firm Bi-Fab.”
A total of 1,400 jobs both direct and the supply-chain are under threat after management informed trade unions this morning that the company has no money left to pay the wages of their staff, the union said.
GMB understands that cash flow problems have stemmed from a dispute over payments between BiFab and the £2.6 billion Beatrice wind-farm project contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), the union said.
BiFab, the Scottish based fabricator of structures for the oil and gas and offshore wind industries, on Monday said it was facing a critical cash position as a result of a challenging situation regarding its ongoing contracts.
The Directors of BiFab filed a Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators. However, the company also clarified, despite filing for the notice, the company is not currently in administration “and the Directors remain hopeful that a solution can be reached to secure the future of the business and the workforce.”
Martin Adam, Managing Director for the company said “We are very disappointed that we have found ourselves in the current position which has arisen as a result of a challenging situation in respect of our ongoing contracts which have been providing much needed employment locally in Scotland. We are seeking a rapid solution with our key stakeholders and the Scottish Executive to our current cash flow position and are hopeful that this can be achieved quickly to secure the future of the business and the 1,400 strong workforce.”
Last year BiFab secured a £100 million contract from SHL for the manufacture of twenty-six turbine jackets, sustaining employment at the Burntisland and Methil yards in Fife and also at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.
Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said on Monday: “This is a critical moment for the future of BiFab, its workers and the communities these yards support. Yesterday we were told that despite the evident problems, it would be business as usual and our members should report to work as normal.”
“This morning we were told that there is no money to pay our members wages, stemming from a cash flow problem with the contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL). Everyone with an interest in these workers, their communities and the welfare of the Scottish economy must pull together now and the Scottish Government must lead this effort,” the union said.
“This is a viable workforce and these are viable yards – important strategic assets – and they stand ready and able to help deliver the future of Scottish manufacturing. Letting these workers and their communities go under is not an option. We’ve got to battle for BiFab.”