Workers at Birkenhead’s Cammell Lairds return after wildcat strikes, but vow to walk out again if union talks collapse

CAMMELL Laird shipyard workers have returned to work after an unofficial walkout – but refused to rule out further strikes.

Employees at the Birkenhead site said they were waiting to meet with union delegates who they want to take up their case with the yard’s managing director John Syvret.

They said if they were unhappy with the outcome of those talks they will once again decide whether to take industrial action in protest over the loss of 180 jobs.

Bosses and union representatives were locked in meetings all day yesterday to resolve the unofficial dispute.

A worker at Cammell Laird said: “There will be no walk out today.

“But more strikes? You just can’t say at the moment.”

The threat of another walk out comes as Cammell Laird is poised to start work on the prestigious £44m contract to build parts for the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

However, the management hope that the issues will be sorted out soon.

It branded the action “extremely disappointing”.

More than 100 workers walked out over the company’s redundancy plans.

The jobs are threatened following the cancellation of a contract.

Cammell Laird has confirmed that they will be making redundancies and is now being forced to consider its “legal options” following the strike.

The company currently employs around 700 workers and a similar number of sub-contractors at its shipyard.

A Cammell Laird spokesman said: “As a result of the cancellation of a contract the company was forced to follow a legal procedure for redundancy for the people affected.

"The company has followed the legal consultation to the letter.

"We have further tried to prevent these job losses by trying to advance capital projects and bringing in new business in earlier.

"However, we have been unable to do that so some job losses were inevitable.

"Nevertheless, it is extremely disappointing that this unofficial action has taken place. The company is considering its legal options and will advise people involved in due course.”

Last month Cammell Laird finished a contract to lengthen and refurbish a cable-laying ship run by Nexans AS of Norway, a subsidiary of the international cable giant Nexans Group which will secure more than 200 jobs.