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The two main unions involved in the fight for BiFab jobs said an eleventh hour agreement will secure jobs for the duration of the present contract.

The company operates the Arnish yard in Lewis as well as sites in Methil and Burntilsand in Fife.

GMB Scotland -  which is the biggest union at Arnish - and Unite unions said they “praised the role” of the Scottish Government and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in brokering the deal to save the engineering firm from falling into administration.

The deadline for a notice filed by BiFab to appoint administrators runs out on Monday.

Gary Smith of the GMB and Unite leader Pat Rafferty also highlighted the “resolute stand” taken by BiFab workers to “convince everyone” they were determined to fight for their jobs and their communities.

With a background of “difficult circumstances” to the financial problems at the engineering company, all the major parties in Beatrice offshore windfarm contract have agreed to make a shared financial contribution guaranteeing that BiFab will not go into administration.

The deal also assures that the cash flow of the company will now allow the current contract to be completed, with the same workforce.

In a joint statement the union officials said: “Make no mistake these yards would be closed today if it wasn’t for the dignity and determination of the workers and their families in Fife and Lewis to save their jobs and industry.

“With their futures on a knife edge they worked for nothing stayed strong and resolute and by staying united they have won their future.

“Further, the Scottish Government said they would leave no stone unturned and their efforts have been pivotal in bringing BiFab back from the brink.

“Both the First Minster Nicola Sturgeon and the Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown secured the co-operation of all the partners and interests involved to create a deal.”

Trade unions hail deal to secure BiFab jobs

19 November 2017