Britain's largest union, Unite, warned BAE Systems of cutting ‘too far, too fast’ as it urged the defence firm to offer a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies following today’s (Thursday 21 November) announcement to cut up to 371 jobs at Wharton and Samlesbury in Lancashire.
The job losses in BAE’s Military Air and Information business, follow a decision by the firm to reduce production of the Typhoon aircraft and led to warnings from Unite that cutting jobs could lead to a skills shortage if orders pick up.
Commenting Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “This is disappointing news on top of a miserable few weeks for manufacturing in the UK. The government needs to stop dithering and act urgently to stop the haemorrhage of skilled UK manufacturing jobs.
“The Typhoon is a superb aircraft, but it faces tough competition in the export market. It is vital that critical skills and capability are maintained by BAE Systems and their supply chain so that the ability to build the Typhoon in the UK is protected. Cutting too far, too fast could led to a skills shortage for when orders pick up.
“We will be working closely with the company to understand and manage the proposed job losses and seeking guarantees of no compulsory redundancies. In the meantime the government must redouble its efforts to help the company win vital export orders.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.