Workers trade unions GMB and Unite said last night that they will fly to Canada to meet with BiFab owners DF Barnes for crunch talks with senior management.
Recent discussions between the two camps have been tense as redundancies have hit the 1,400 workforce since the beginning of the year.
However, GMB Scotland secretary, Gary Smith, confirmed that positive talks had been held between the Bifab owners and the unions over the weekend.
He said: “We’re not out of the woods but we met with DF Barnes executives at the end of last week in Scotland. We’ve been talking over the weekend and I think we’re now more assured that they’ve got a commitment to the longterm, a commitment to a direct labour force and to working with trade unions.
“Our gesture of good will with them is that we’ll reciprocate and we’ll go and meet with them.”
Last month DF Barnes vowed there would be “no further redundancies” as they look to compete for big renewables contracts.
But union chiefs accused them of “playing on words” and insulting workers, given redundancy notices were still to take effect on scores of workers across two yards in Arnish, Stornoway and Fife.
The Newfoundland-based company’s vice-president Jason Fudge described the redundancies at the time as “unavoidable” but “unfortunate”.
Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary and Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary, Unite the Union, will travel to Canada today.
The unions also confirmed that they had held talks in Glasgow yesterday with the Scottish Government’s new finance and economy secretary, Derek Mackay.
Gary Smith and Pat Rafferty said: “Our number one priority for months has been not just the rescue of a company but the employment of people in Fife and in Lewis. We remain optimistic that the outlook for restoring significant levels of employment at the BiFab yards is achievable, if work can be secured.
“The new owners, alongside the Scottish Government, need to work with us to build trust through regular and meaningful dialogue on the future. Only by pulling together will we deliver on our ambitions for people and employment in Fife and on Lewis.”