Unite the union has reacted furiously today (30 October) to the latest job losses in Scotland’s renewables sector at CS Wind.

The company which employs 94 workers has announced that up to 73 jobs – three quarters of the workforce - are to go at its factory based in Campbeltown, Argyll, which is the only UK facility manufacturing onshore and offshore wind towers.

CS Wind is blaming the decision on present gaps in the order book. However, accounts lodged by the company in April this year show that the directors see the future outlook for the next financial year as ‘positive’ and posted pre-tax profits in 2018 of £7.1 million. Up from a loss of £191,000 in 2017.

The factory has been fully operational since January 2002 with it having recently been purchased by the South Korean company CS Wind in April 2016. The company made a £27 million investment in the facility. As part of a complex set of partnership arrangements the Danish firm - Ørsted - also made a multi-million pound investment in the facility in December 2016. It also has preferred access rights to towers for its offshore wind farms. In addition, CS Wind signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Swedish company - Vattenfall - which gave the company the opportunity to tender for tower supply contracts on future Vattenfall onshore wind farm projects.

Unite has been at the forefront of campaigning for Scottish facilities and factories including the BiFab yards in Arnish and Fife to benefit from the ‘green manufacturing revolution’. The union has heavily criticised the Scottish and UK Governments on the minimal manufacturing work which has been directly created by the billions of pounds being invested into the renewables sector in Scotland. In response to the latest blow, Unite is calling for the Scottish government to immediately reconvene its Offshore Wind Summit and to provide support to the workforce.

Charlie Macdonald, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The news of the redundancy notices affecting three quarters of the workforce at CS Wind in Campbeltown is a major blow to Scotland’s renewables manufacturing capacity. CS Wind is another example of the spaghetti bowl of multi-national interests calling the shots in our nation’s renewables sector with scant regard for workers and communities.

“There needs to be urgent intervention by the Scottish government because if the scale of these job losses goes unchallenged not only is there is a major cloud over the future of the factory in Campbeltown but also over Scotland’s green manufacturing capacity.”


For more information contact Charlie McDonald on 07843352191.

Notes to editor:

  • Unite Scotland is Scotland's biggest union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.