TOWARDS the end of September, BAE Systems said it would slash around 3,000 jobs at sites across Britain. BAE Systems is the UKs largest defence and security firm, employing 40,000 people here.
Its military aircraft division is going to be hit the hardest. BAE say a slowdown in orders for the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft is to blame for the situation and that the redundancies are necessary for the company to stay competitive. A 90-day consultation into the plans to shed jobs is due to finish at Christmas.
Thus the biggest job cuts will be at Samlesbury, in Lancashire, where 565 jobs will go from the 3,970-strong workforce and at Warton, also in Lancashire, which sees 843 posts (out of 6,537) going. And in Brough, East Yorkshire, around 900 jobs will be lost from its 1,300-strong workforce.
There could also be job cuts at other BAE plants in Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, and Essex.
The knock-on effects from this puts nearly 6,000 further jobs at risk at BAE’s suppliers and in the wider economy.
However, BAE workers are not taking this decision lying down.
Last month, around 400 workers marched in Hull to protest at the decision to axe jobs. The march started at the War Memorial and Cenotaph in Ferensway and went through the city centre. A rally was held at Queens Gardens.
BAE has a long association with Hull. Its Brough plant – near to Hull – has been in the area for nearly 100 years. However, the loyalty of the workforce counts for nothing, so 900 jobs will go. These redundancies will further decimate an area already hit hard by unemployment.
Commenting on BAEs decision to axe jobs, the Third Way Think Tank has called upon all workers to support all efforts to fight job losses.
In the first instance, members and supporters should join over 15,000 other people and sign the Fight For BAE Systems Jobs e-petition here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/18283
(Note: the petition ‘closed’ last month. However, we would still urge people to sign it. We feel that Britain’s MPs should be made aware of the strength and depth of feeling regarding job losses. E-Petitions are a great way of applying pressure on our MPs.)