Author Topic: Shipyard  (Read 6271 times)

tyroneman

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Shipyard
« on: August 06, 2019, 03:35:18 PM »
Just curious on this one... as someone who doesn't live in Belfast.....while no-one wants to see folks lose their jobs....is there a cogent economic argument to be made for public money to be used in a H&W bail out (over AN Other local company that's failing), given they only employ 120 odd staff, or it is purely a symbolic issue?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 03:43:46 PM by tyroneman »

screenexile

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 03:42:37 PM »
Just curious on this one... as someone who doesn't live in Belfast.....is there a cogent economic argument to be made for public money to be used in a H&W bail out (over AN Other local company that's failing), given they only employ 120 odd staff, or it is more a symbolic issue?

Symbolic issue... load of balls they see themselves as some kind of iconic Belfast industry but they built an unsinkable ship that f**king sank and were the posterboy for treating Catholics as second class citizens f**k them they shouldn't get special treatment!!!

We'll keep the cranes though!

playwiththewind1st

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 03:43:37 PM »
Symbolic. ..especially to Loyalists. Well, only to Loyalists really. Reference Sam Thompson's play "Over The Bridge".

93-DY-SAM

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 03:44:55 PM »
From my limited understanding it sounds like it is purely symbolic. This day has been coming to H&W for a long long time and I think it's history has managed to drag it this far but can take it no further. I've been listening to the old argument that it was the EU's fault on competition laws. But H&W don't have a single order on their books at the minute and not even an order in sight. That's one of the core reasons why no one would bail them out (pardon the pun). Most of these ships are built in the Far East now in South Korea or China well outside the EU.

tyroneman

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 04:11:03 PM »
Was there a marked swing from the cold house it was in the bad old days towards it being an inclusive workplace now?

Doubt you would have had SF standing with them and the workers speaking Irish back in the 70s

Rois

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2019, 04:13:21 PM »
From my limited understanding it sounds like it is purely symbolic. This day has been coming to H&W for a long long time and I think it's history has managed to drag it this far but can take it no further. I've been listening to the old argument that it was the EU's fault on competition laws. But H&W don't have a single order on their books at the minute and not even an order in sight. That's one of the core reasons why no one would bail them out (pardon the pun). Most of these ships are built in the Far East now in South Korea or China well outside the EU.
Another core reason being the horrific pension liabilities.

Buying out of administration makes more sense.

Eamonnca1

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2019, 04:21:43 PM »
They diversified into offshore energy and civil engineering years ago but it didn't seem to be good enough. I suspect the land they're occupying could be put to more productive use now. A lot of prime real estate there, would be a great place for loft apartments and the like.

playwiththewind1st

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 04:23:08 PM »
From my limited understanding it sounds like it is purely symbolic. This day has been coming to H&W for a long long time and I think it's history has managed to drag it this far but can take it no further. I've been listening to the old argument that it was the EU's fault on competition laws. But H&W don't have a single order on their books at the minute and not even an order in sight. That's one of the core reasons why no one would bail them out (pardon the pun). Most of these ships are built in the Far East now in South Korea or China well outside the EU.
Another core reason being the horrific pension liabilities.

Buying out of administration makes more sense.

Sir Philip Green could advise them on that little matter, I am quite sure.

Owen Brannigan

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2019, 05:19:31 PM »
When all of the yearning for the good/bad old days is gone, it will become clear that the days of heavy engineering in the yard are gone. The work can be done cheaper elsewhere, they have tried it all, making wind turbines, outfitting or refitting smaller cruise ships, repairing oil rigs, etc and none of these have worked.

Belfast is one of the last places in western Europe to have to come to terms with this situation and the loss of it's ship building heritage. The fact is that the land covered by the yard is more valuable for development than to use the facilities for engineering.

It's not the only place to have the so called iconic cranes and to have lost it's work in shipbuilding. take a look at this picture I took last week in Gothenburg. The crane is now used for bunny jumping and look at the expensive apartments that have been built over the shipyard around the crane:


« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 04:46:52 PM by Owen Brannigan »

Milltown Row2

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2019, 05:21:20 PM »
I served my time as an apprentice shipbuilder (weder/plater/fabricator) in Harlands, started in 88 as a 16 year old Falls road man, times were changing, as the equal opportunities was becoming a thorn in their side at the time, so taigs needed to be employed!

Now there was a huge reluctance at the time from many a lad from a catholic background but myself and 3 other lads from my school all carried out the skills and written test before getting interviews and accepting an apprenticeship.

I personally never felt any threat, even though the place was covered from head to toe in the biggest flegs you'll ever see, and they marched every year around the dock before knocking off for 3 week at July! was bizzare but again it didnt bother me,

 I got my education in engineering, no expense spared in fairness to them, enabled me to teach students in later years and I can't fault the place on how i was treated.

BUT, and its a big but, there was some serious loyalist bstards there, who'd have cut your throat on a night out, catholic father/grandfather was killed on the boat one night during overtime, nobody caught also. So it was pretty bad at times.

Work wise, once it was bought over by Olsen it took a different direction in terms of orders and the like, Harlands couldnt compete with Aisan market and eventually the workforce wasnt there to attract orders and be competitive, as they would have had to pay more for ones coming in from Scotland and Newcastle, digs, more wages ect.  to win an order you've got to show that you can actually do the job, unless they could show that then they were not going to win much orders.

Yes it was a black hole and some of the workers were lazy shits but the skill set was outstanding to be honest, at one time everything that was needed to make a boat/ship was done in the shipyard, nothing brought in from outside.

Not sustainable now,so it has to close, I hope they keep the cranes
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

seafoid

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2019, 05:50:15 PM »
Symbolic of the NI economy

All of the Unionist industries that justified the existence of a NI statelet have collapsed and the South
is far richer now and even Tyrone have won All Irelands so everything is different.
Plus the highest number of firms going bust since 2016.

 
Lookit

omaghjoe

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 07:46:10 PM »
The problem was although it diversified it didnt really change its business model.
It still remained a contractor, it should have changed to selling a product or at least partnered with a design company in offshore renewable or something where they would have had global expertise. This should have been done 20 years ago or even 10 might have saved it. Would have meant too much restructuring at the time which is why they probably didn't do it but there is no reason why they couldn't at least been exploring it.

Out of interest what will happen with the pension liabilities if/when the company folds?


Rois

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 08:11:41 PM »
Tax payer takes over through the Pension Protection Fund.

Milltown Row2

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 10:55:55 PM »
The problem was although it diversified it didnt really change its business model.
It still remained a contractor, it should have changed to selling a product or at least partnered with a design company in offshore renewable or something where they would have had global expertise. This should have been done 20 years ago or even 10 might have saved it. Would have meant too much restructuring at the time which is why they probably didn't do it but there is no reason why they couldn't at least been exploring it.

Out of interest what will happen with the pension liabilities if/when the company folds?

We did, built three drill ships which were fantastic in design and engineering. But eventually the last one we built for Global marine really broke the bank, literally. Never really recovered from that, had we made profit from that and started to get the into that they could have made a market for it.

Once that left, the workforce and skills left with it, you canít get them back
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

6th sam

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2019, 11:35:50 PM »
The problem was although it diversified it didnt really change its business model.
It still remained a contractor, it should have changed to selling a product or at least partnered with a design company in offshore renewable or something where they would have had global expertise. This should have been done 20 years ago or even 10 might have saved it. Would have meant too much restructuring at the time which is why they probably didn't do it but there is no reason why they couldn't at least been exploring it.

Out of interest what will happen with the pension liabilities if/when the company folds?

We did, built three drill ships which were fantastic in design and engineering. But eventually the last one we built for Global marine really broke the bank, literally. Never really recovered from that, had we made profit from that and started to get the into that they could have made a market for it.

Once that left, the workforce and skills left with it, you canít get them back

Good to get that insider info MR.
The loss of jobs is tragic though I imagine some will be near retirement.  The skill set is very specific so similar reemployment unlikely. Any word of unionist politicians saving and creating jobs rather than pushing Brexit and saving the union. The working class have been very badly represented by our politicians whose focus is on getting re-elected rather than prioritising what itís important: jobs, health, education, standard and cost of living. What s basket case OWC is