Prospect and Unite want government to give jobs guarantee before giving green light to merger


Prospect and Unite have called on the government to safeguard jobs at BAE Systems and EADS if the proposed merger between the companies goes ahead.

Representatives from the unions yesterday met with Michael Fallon, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to press for assurances that UK jobs would be protected before giving the green light to the merger.

Unite’s Ian Waddell said: “We had a constructive meeting with Michael Fallon. The UK government has a ‘golden share’ in BAE Systems and a regulatory obligation to discharge. We argued that the government must do all it can to ensure that the UK jobs and our long term economic interests are protected in the merger.

“The new company will have 48,000 highly skilled employees in the UK. It will be our largest manufacturing company, part of the biggest aerospace and defence company in the world. The UK would have a key part in the new company, so it is vital that job security is guaranteed.

“We have also been in intense dialogue with both BAE Systems and EADS and understand the industrial logic behind the merger proposal.

“Both partners are saying that the new company will be an engine for growth and will be stronger than its constituent parts.

“If that is the case, then they should put to rest any uncertainty by giving a guarantee that no jobs will be lost as a result of the merger.”

Prospect’s Tony Hammond said: “The minister listened closely to our concerns but could not make any commitments about the future as he is in a quasi-judicial position over the merger. We will continue to make representations about the proposed merger to the company and the government.

“We are concerned about the likelihood of further job losses in the defence sector. Thousands of jobs have been lost at BAE Systems in the last two years.

“Further losses will erode the UK’s industrial base and mean the loss of more high-value manufacturing skills. We have asked for assurances on job security from the minister.”

The unions will continue “intense dialogue” with both BAE Systems and EADS in the run up to the merger decision. Further discussions are planned with Shadow Ministers and with MPs who have BAE or EADS sites in their constituencies.

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