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Tuesday, 14 December, 1999, 17:15 GMT
Deal reached on shipyard future

Workers applauding Workers celebrated the buyout agreement in July

Kvaerner has agreed a deal with BAE Systems to sell its Govan shipyard in Glasgow, ending more than a year of uncertainty for workers at the yard.

BAE Systems, which was formerly called GEC Marconi, agreed the basis of a deal with Kvaerner in July after the former owners announced a decision to withdraw from the yard.

However, talks stalled over legal liabilities, including who should pay for clean-up costs at the site.

For the workers at the Govan yard, the agreement, which has been reached subject to formal settlement of some legal matters, symbolised the end of more than a year of concern over their careers.

As many as 1,200 jobs had been in doubt and unions described the negotiations between the companies as the worst game of industrial brinkmanship they had ever seen.

New orders

BAE Systems has already transferred work to the Govan yard which will keep it busy in the short term.

But its long-term future could depend on winning a Ministry of Defence order for the Royal Navy.

This week the MoD said it was delaying the announcement of a preferred bidder for the contract until next spring.

Meanwhile, Kvaerner's only remaining manufacturing arm in Scotland is facing possible closure.

Kvaerner Energy at Clydebank had been seen as having a reasonably secure future with a full order book.

Closure threat

But a decision by the company on Monday to turn down a management buyout has put 250 jobs at risk.

A spokesman for Kvaerner said there will be no job losses before Christmas but there may be some later next year.

The company said there have been discussions with potential buyers but if one cannot be found, the manufacturing sector at Clydebank will eventually close
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See also:
13 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Fears for engineering jobs
14 Jul 99 |  The Company File
Kvaerner workers applaud union officials
06 Jul 99 |  The Company File
'We'll do all we can for Kvaerner' - Blair
05 Jul 99 |  The Company File
Kvaerner begins Govan lay-offs
13 Apr 99 |  Business
'Blood and sweat' of the River Clyde
13 Apr 99 |  The Company File
A shipbuilding pedigree

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