14 Mar 07. Sir Tristram: To be a Training Vessel. The Defence Logistics Organisation has advised (14 Mar 07) that it is intended to moor Sir Tristram to a buoy in Portland Harbour, where she is to be used as a training vessel. ‘Expressions of Interest’ are sought for the maintenance of the vessel and for running the associated training.
Comment: The former RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) paid-off early in 2006 after nearly 40 years service. At the time ‘Navy News’ (February 2006) suggested that Sir Tristram would become a static training vessel for Royal Marines. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0712, 19 Mar 07)
09 Mar 07. Warships: Low States of Readiness. The Armed Forces’ Minister explained (9 Mar 07) that five escorts are at low readiness because they are preparing for or undergoing refit. The vessels concerned are the Type 42 destroyer HMS LIVERPOOL, the Type 22 frigate HMS CUMBERLAND and the Type 23 frigates HMS IRON DUKE, SOMERSET and ST ALBANS. The Minister said that he was “withholding details” about HMS ALBION’s future since these might “prejudice the security of our Armed Forces”.
Comment: There has been media speculation that HMS ALBION was to be taken out of front line service. However, the ship completed an eight-month upgrade early in 2006 which made her “the nation’s most potent amphibious warship” (‘Navy News’ April 2006). A statement from the MoD on 2 Feb 07 said that there “are no plans for HMS ALBION to be taken out of service…”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0712, 19 Mar 07)
22 Mar 07. The environmental unit of White Young Green (WYG) has reached completion on a flagship business incubator building in Rotherham. The £9.75m facility named the Innovation Technology Centre (ITC) is the most recent building to be built on South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), which is a hub for companies operating in the aerospace, automotive, energy, environmental, sport, defence and construction industries. ITC, which is owned by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, will provide high quality offices and workshops for up to 20 start-up and growing companies in the engineering and technology sectors. Undertaking a lead consultant role on the scheme, which has taken six years to reach completion the WYG team provided geotechnical, environmental, civil, structural and planning supervisory services. In addition it also carried out a range of sub consultancy services including transportation, drainage and quantity surveying.
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
24 Mar 07. ‘Chain of events’ led to walk out. Thousands of staff at the Airbus UK factory in north Wales took unofficial strike action over a “chain of events” – not just proposed job losses. Two-thirds of the 7,000 workers in Broughton, Flintshire, which makes wings for Airbus’ A380 passenger jet, were involved in Friday’s walk out. Unions at the plant did not support the action and urged their members to return to work. Airbus said the strike was because no profit-share payment was being made. Workers were also concerned about working patterns, the out-sourcing of parts of the business and the restructuring of the firm, said Billy Mullin, Airbus worker and a local Labour councillor. Airbus last month revealed plans to shed 10,000 jobs across Europe. The final straw was when the company decided that they were not going to give the workers any profit related bonus this year. Around 1,600 of those jobs will go at the two Airbus UK plants in Broughton and Bristol although it has not been said how exactly those losses will be made. “I think it has come to a head,” said Mr Mullin. “There has been disappointment with the company’s restructuring programme.”Obviously they are looking at job losses of around 800 on the site. Added to that the company is now looking to out-source significant parts of the business, so you can understand the feeling of the people that work there. “I think the final straw was when the company decide