Very welcome news that the 291 planned redundancies for Cammell Laird workers have been rescinded just before Christmas.
However the fact that a ‘task force’ has been set up by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson to save shipyard jobs raises yet more questions about the role of Birkenhead MP Frank Field and his failure to publicly support the recent strike action. It is interesting to note that also on the ‘task force’ is Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies. We understand Pip even made an appearance on the picket line although it was in the aftermath of high profile political and public support for strikers.
We have to say as an observer of local politics and local media that recent events have been a PR disaster for Cammell Laird’s current management and particularly CEO John Syvret who had to publicly apologise for claiming that strikers were “pandering to negative stereotypes of Merseyside” . But then Syvret was given the platform to make such claims in the local media without initially any discussion of why strike action was considered to be necessary by unions. This was not just about redundancies but about the ongoing spectre of ‘casualisation’ which is something that the local media seems to have belatedly acknowledged in the wake of widespread public and political support.
There may have been a Christmas truce declared in this particular battle but the war against employment practices which undermine workers rights continues…