Community says Scottish steel workers are “dismayed” they had opportunity to bid for £790m supply contract


Scottish steel workers have asked Prime Minister Cameron to intervene in a dispute with the Scottish government over who supplies the steel for a new bridge over the Firth of Forth.

The SNP government in Edinburgh awarded the £790m contract to Chinese, Polish and Spanish suppliers.

Four leading activsts from the Community union, who are all employed by Tata Steel at Dalzell and Clydebridge, claim First Minister Alex Salmond has failed to give any satisfactory explanation why no Scottish firm was chosen as a supplier, despite interest being shown.

They are asking the Prime Minister to instruct Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore to get involved.

Last week, Community union’s General Secretary, Michael Leahy, wrote to Mr Salmond calling for a halt to the decision pending a review of the procurement process.

Ministers had previously announced £20m worth of sub-contracts had been awarded to 118 Scottish firms, before details were released of the main supply contract.

Wayne Bird, a leading Community union member at Clydebridge, said: “We have written on behalf of all the Scottish steel workers who are dismayed and angered by Mr Salmond’s decision and by his failure to provide any explanation of why we were cut out of the bidding for the contract.

Scotland needs a strong steel industry and a strong manufacturing base. We are calling upon the Prime Minister to give us a fair chance to take part in the construction of this vital new project.”

The Scottish government estimates the cost of building the bridge and building or upgrade road links to the crossing will total up to £1.6bn. It is described as the biggest construction project north of the border in a generation. The crossing is due to be completed in 2016.

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