Author Topic: Shipyard  (Read 4616 times)

Milltown Row2

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2019, 11:49:36 PM »
Tax payer takes over through the Pension Protection Fund.

Got a letter the other day about the pension. Private firm looking after it now. Probably worth about 1 quid a week
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omaghjoe

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2019, 12:34:41 AM »
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

Where those ships actually designed in Belfast? I thought they were designed in Houston or Norway or somewhere and the building of the ship was contracted to H&W..?

Anyway I wasnt getting at further shipbuilding.... think its gone East and thats that... was more thinking of developing products for offshore renewables. But maybe thats not as heavy and its hard to justify the two gantries etc

Tho in saying that Singapore is a high cost economy that maintains a ship building presence

mackers

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2019, 10:21:18 AM »
Tax payer takes over through the Pension Protection Fund.
That's incorrect.  The PPF is not funded by the taxpayer.  It's mostly funded by a levy on all defined benefit pension schemes, like an insurance premium.
Keep your pecker hard and your powder dry and the world will turn.

Milltown Row2

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2019, 10:36:31 AM »
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

Where those ships actually designed in Belfast? I thought they were designed in Houston or Norway or somewhere and the building of the ship was contracted to H&W..?

Anyway I wasnt getting at further shipbuilding.... think its gone East and thats that... was more thinking of developing products for offshore renewables. But maybe thats not as heavy and its hard to justify the two gantries etc

Tho in saying that Singapore is a high cost economy that maintains a ship building presence

Those ships were initially designed as you say in Texas, Global Marine and BP had other designs, but they were always involving, the design team at Harlands were top notch and new designs were added as the ships were progressed, the standard of the finished ship was amazing. Just couldnt make them at a profit, they were called shipyard busters, as most shipyards went bust after the contract was done!
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

Tyrdub

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2019, 11:00:01 AM »
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?

Friend of mine works in the office, luckily she starts a new job in a fortnight, though they have asked her to stay on for a few days. Its not just the 120 directly employed people, there are hundreds of contractors this will affect who will all lose their jobs as well. Another friend supplies fixings, bolts etc into the yard, he was put on his notice yesterday as well.

Up to a few weeks ago a cruise ship fitout company was looking into buying it out, more than likely to strip the yard and just hold on to the dry dock to facilitate cruise ship repairs but this feel through

seafoid

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2019, 11:09:25 AM »
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?
The neoliberal UK let its industry rot. The car industry is falling apart . Deindustrialisation was imposed on the north of England and Wales in the 80s
and the people left to deal with the fallout. If H+W had been in Germany the people would have been looked after.
Being in the UK over the last 40 years has been a drag on NI. It's too small and too peripheral to make money from speculation on steroids.
Lookit

red hander

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2019, 02:40:08 PM »
Remember a few years back they got contract to build/refit one of the big Killybegs trawlers, finished the job, but on night before it was due to be handed over 'mysteriously' caught fire and was gutted. Sectarian cesspit, it'll not be missed
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 04:28:28 PM by red hander »

omaghjoe

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2019, 03:58:37 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

Where those ships actually designed in Belfast? I thought they were designed in Houston or Norway or somewhere and the building of the ship was contracted to H&W..?

Anyway I wasnt getting at further shipbuilding.... think its gone East and thats that... was more thinking of developing products for offshore renewables. But maybe thats not as heavy and its hard to justify the two gantries etc

Tho in saying that Singapore is a high cost economy that maintains a ship building presence

Those ships were initially designed as you say in Texas, Global Marine and BP had other designs, but they were always involving, the design team at Harlands were top notch and new designs were added as the ships were progressed, the standard of the finished ship was amazing. Just couldnt make them at a profit, they were called shipyard busters, as most shipyards went bust after the contract was done!

Ah right....over engineered for manufacture..... in saying that tho that's obviously a failure on the contract end, should have been factored into the cost. But perhaps those high end contracts were the only ones that appeared initially profitable?

TheOptimist

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2019, 05:14:43 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

Where those ships actually designed in Belfast? I thought they were designed in Houston or Norway or somewhere and the building of the ship was contracted to H&W..?

Anyway I wasnt getting at further shipbuilding.... think its gone East and thats that... was more thinking of developing products for offshore renewables. But maybe thats not as heavy and its hard to justify the two gantries etc

Tho in saying that Singapore is a high cost economy that maintains a ship building presence

Those ships were initially designed as you say in Texas, Global Marine and BP had other designs, but they were always involving, the design team at Harlands were top notch and new designs were added as the ships were progressed, the standard of the finished ship was amazing. Just couldnt make them at a profit, they were called shipyard busters, as most shipyards went bust after the contract was done!

Ah right....over engineered for manufacture..... in saying that tho that's obviously a failure on the contract end, should have been factored into the cost. But perhaps those high end contracts were the only ones that appeared initially profitable?

Not too mention if workers were seemingly swinging the lead the costs would spiral!

Milltown Row2

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2019, 06:42:37 PM »
Look the mindset of shipyard workers was completely different. There was always a sense of entitlement, there was no question about the workforce (Harlands own) having skills and abilities,  but bringing those skills in line with working to deadlines was impossible because some people were swinging the lead.

 I remember after the management employee buy out, there was an attempt to educate the workforce on how their time off and slow work would affect the future planning and finishing ships on time, there was always huge financial cost when it wasnít finished on time, they brought in bonuses for no time off over the year, shop bonuses for meeting targets and this helped but we could never meet the targets set by buyers!

Time in motion was brought in for a while and everyone was time measured, individual targets were given and this was used as a poor management tool if Iím being honest. Some people could do jobs quicker and better than others, with less effort.

There was major flaws with Harlands, mainly the bigotry and employment issues. Outside of that it produced some fine ships. As for the titanic, it was made to the safety specifications of the day, was poorly handled with hitting an iceberg, hardly the Shipyards fault.
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

omaghjoe

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2019, 07:54:58 PM »
Look the mindset of shipyard workers was completely different. There was always a sense of entitlement, there was no question about the workforce (Harlands own) having skills and abilities,  but bringing those skills in line with working to deadlines was impossible because some people were swinging the lead.

 I remember after the management employee buy out, there was an attempt to educate the workforce on how their time off and slow work would affect the future planning and finishing ships on time, there was always huge financial cost when it wasnít finished on time, they brought in bonuses for no time off over the year, shop bonuses for meeting targets and this helped but we could never meet the targets set by buyers!

Time in motion was brought in for a while and everyone was time measured, individual targets were given and this was used as a poor management tool if Iím being honest. Some people could do jobs quicker and better than others, with less effort.

There was major flaws with Harlands, mainly the bigotry and employment issues. Outside of that it produced some fine ships. As for the titanic, it was made to the safety specifications of the day, was poorly handled with hitting an iceberg, hardly the Shipyards fault.

Should have got into this stuff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk#Shooting_incident

that wudda showed the iceberg who was boss!

....Might be fecked now anyway with Global warming tho!

trailer

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2019, 09:40:17 AM »
It's only 120 jobs. While sad for those families it's a casualty of progress. It was / is a sectarian shithole but still sad for those families involved.

johnnycool

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2019, 09:57:24 AM »
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.

I was thinking that myself especially when it became clear there was a hole in the pension pot.

A new buyer won't take that liability, the Government will have to, but maybe not the full amount and some pensions might have to get trimmed by 10% or whatever.

There'll also be new terms and conditions for the staff unless the new owner offers to honour the TUPE process, but they are in the box seat if a new owner can be found.

I also don't get the "iconic" status of H&W as it was very much jobs for the boys and those boys wouldn't have been too welcoming to someone from my community back in the day.


Franko

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2019, 10:20:26 AM »
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.

I was thinking that myself especially when it became clear there was a hole in the pension pot.

A new buyer won't take that liability, the Government will have to, but maybe not the full amount and some pensions might have to get trimmed by 10% or whatever.

There'll also be new terms and conditions for the staff unless the new owner offers to honour the TUPE process, but they are in the box seat if a new owner can be found.

I also don't get the "iconic" status of H&W as it was very much jobs for the boys and those boys wouldn't have been too welcoming to someone from my community back in the day.

Agreed.  There was nothing 'iconic' about the yard at all.  A sectarian shithole.  The cranes are a famous landmark and will no doubt survive.

Feel sorry for those who are losing their jobs, it can't be a good time.  Apart from that I'd say good riddance to another symbol of unionist dominance.

Jeepers Creepers

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Re: Shipyard
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2019, 11:19:47 AM »
Real estate developers are circling. You will also be able to pay to do a skywalk along the top of the cranes soon.