Unite and GMB warn end of production at Brough is another nail in the coffin of Northern manufacturing

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Trade unionists working at BAE systems are today descending on parliament in a bid to save Britain’s aerospace industry.

More than 100 Unite and GMB members from BAE’s Brough plant in East Yorkshire will be lobbying MPs to highlight the devastating local impact of the global defence giant’s decision to stop production at the site, with the loss of 899 skilled jobs.

They will also hand in a petition to David Cameron at Number 10 – the petition is in the form of photographs of the individuals who will lose their jobs at Brough and calls on the government to do all in its power to save the site.

The end of production at Brough is one more nail in the coffin of the North of England’s modern manufacturing industry generally and aerospace industry in particular. It does not have to be this way.

The unions are calling on the government to step in to save a British success story. It must intervene to provide the necessary investment to keep the site going until 2013/14 when an anticipated export order is due to come in.

The Hawk trainer jet, which is manufactured at Brough, is used by the Royal Air Force, including the Red Arrows display team. More than 900 aircraft have been sold across the world.

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “The fight for Brough is a fight to save Britain’s aerospace industry and the skilled jobs that are vital to the future of UK manufacturing. Warm words from the government about the importance of manufacturing are not enough. It is actions that count. Unite and the GMB are proposing an alternative vision – one that secures production at the site into the future.

“If the government is serious about rebalancing the economy it must find the solutions to keep plants such as Brough operating  – the UK defence industry depends on it.

The closure of the production facility in Brough will tear the heart out of the local community. The workers are in Westminster to warn MPs that there is too much at stake to let Brough close.”

GMB regional officer Dave Oglesby said: “These jobs may not be headlines any more but the fight to save them goes on. The government cannot sit on its hands and allows these highly-skilled jobs to disappear.

“The UK’s defence industry risks losing the critical mass it needs to maintain its reputation as a world leader in defence manufacturing.  The workers and their families are coming to Westminster to want MPs that there is too much at stake to let Brough close.”

Unite and the GMB will be briefing MPs on an alternative vision to save the BAE systems production facility near Hull.


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