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Saturday, 19 February 2011

The fight goes on

During the winter of 1983 the fight to try and keep shipbuilding in Leith continued, and in particular I remember one trip to London to hand in a petition to the then Prime Minister M.Thatcher, and it was surely a surprise on us getting to No 10 Downing Street to be told that the incumbent Prime Minister had, to leave the country that weekend.

We met with the then Trade minister (who was also Scotland minister at the time) and what a waste of space he turned out to be.

All typical yes’s and agreements (so no arguments of course) and you just left this type of meeting with a bad taste in the mouth.

As time was going on it was starting to become clearer that this was a battle that we at the worker level just could not win. If shipbuilding was to continue at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb then it was ship orders and not talks that would be conclusive and save the jobs, but we could see no concrete orders in the pipeline and still the management continued with there stance that the 2 ships being outfitted had to be finished to stand any chance of securing further orders.

Of course the men also knew that as soon as the ships were finished off then there was absolutely no bargaining position left.

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