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Scotland: Freeports condemned

Container ship at Felixstowe, chosen as one of the English freeports. Photo Workers.

The RMT union has reacted angrily to the joint announcement from Westminster and the SNP government of two “green freeports”. It says the projects are fatally flawed “because they will be operated in private not public interests “. Bids are being invited to run the freeports.

Eight freeports were announced for England in March 2021, but as the RMT notes, they have yet to create a single job. The union says that “it looks like Scotland's Green Freeports would hand tax breaks, public subsidy and more strategic control of Scotland’s ports network to employers who have seen profits increase during the pandemic, in return for vague assurances over trade union consultation and de-regulation.” 

The RMT is demanding that trade unions must be involved in designing the bidding process “so that Green Freeports and a just transition powered by ScotWind and other green projects are demonstrably different to the dodgy de-regulation underway in England”.