Following news earlier in the week that BAE are making massive cuts to jobs across the country, Unite the Union have raised concerns about the increasing amount of defence work being outsourced abroad.
They say that further jobs losses at the plant in Cowes will undermine the site’s future.
Risk to 7.5% of the workforce
Phil Rudd, Secretary of the Unite the Union Isle of Wight Engineering Branch, told OnTheWight,
“The Unite the Union Engineering branch on the Isle of Wight is deeply concerned by the eighteen job losses announced at the BAE Systems Maritime Services site at Cowes, which amounts to 7.5% of the workforce.
“Any job losses will further reduce capability thereby undermining the site’s future. Unite calls upon the business to fully justify any job losses against its workload. If job losses become inevitable then, where necessary, BAE Systems must take all reasonable steps to mitigate them.”
Defence spending abroad
“Unite the Union is alarmed by the increasing amount of defence work being outsourced abroad. By 2020, twenty-five pence of every pound spent on UK defence spending will find its way to American factories alone rather than being spent here in the UK. The government states it appreciates the importance of the radar industry to the UK and the economic advantages this brings, but is not committing to place an order for a future ground based ballistic missile defence radar with the BAE Systems’ site at Cowes.
“With thirty-six pence of every pound spent on defence work in the UK being returned to the economy, the advantages of UK based procurement are clear. This is particularly so on the Island where the economy is so fragile. The Unite branch, therefore, calls upon the government to act decisively and quickly in committing to place this work with BAE Systems at Cowes.”
Support from MP
The Secretary of the Unite the Union Isle of Wight branch went on to say,
“Unite has also written to the Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, requesting his support and asking him to urge the Government to commit to placing an order for the future ground based ballistic missile defence radar with BAE Systems, Cowes.”
Image: © BAE Systems