Unite says lack of industrial strategy is to blame for loss of 600 jobs at BAE


The lack of a defence industry strategy has contributed to BAE Systems axeing more than 600 jobs, according to Unite.

The union said the announcement, which will see BAE’s factory in Newcastle close with the loss of 330 jobs, was ‘a wake-up call’ to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to formulate a coherent procurement strategy that safeguards the future viability of and jobs in the defence sector.

About 200 jobs will be lost at sites in its munitions business, including Radway Green, near Crewe and Glascoed, near Pontypool and 97 in Washington. Up to 10 jobs may go at the firm’s head office in Farnborough, Hampshire.

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said:  The lack of an industrial strategy for the defence industry is putting highly-skilled jobs at risk and bringing economic misery to areas, such as Newcastle, that have already been battered  by the government’s austerity programme.

“Philip Hammond needs to get a grip of defence procurement policy and provide a blueprint to safeguard future jobs and skills for this industry.

“There is a desperate need for a defence industrial strategy where the government clearly lays out its plans for defence spending, allowing industry to plan and invest with confidence.

“The BAE Vehicles job losses demonstrate what happens when there is no plan and no visibility. It creates a culture of short-termism and leads directly to the dire job losses announced today.

“We will be consulting with our members on the next steps in the campaign to save these jobs.”

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