The GMB and Unite trade unions said today that they will fly to Canada to meet 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 were held between the BiFab owners and 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 long term, 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 affect scores of workers.
The Newfoundland-based company’s vice-president, Jason Fudge, described the redundancies at the time as “unavoidable” but “unfortunate”.
Mr Smith and Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty will travel to Canada tomorrow.
The unions also held talks in Glasgow today with the Scottish Government’s new finance and economy secretary, Derek Mackay.
Mr Smith and Mr 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.”