BAE set to cut 1,000 jobs at Glasgow and Portsmouth shipyards

Workers in Scotland under threat after completion of aircraft carriers project

The defence giant BAE Systems is poised to slash more than 1,000 jobs across three UK shipyards, sparking outrage from politicians and union officials last night.

The jobs are under threat at Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, and Portsmouth according to reports. The job losses – set to be formally announced tomorrow according to the BBC – come at a time of huge political sensitivity, particularly in Scotland which is less than a year away from an independence referendum.

The cuts are said to be linked to the completion of the Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers in 2015 and spiralling costs on the project taking the final bill past £6bn. The BAE's Glasgow yards at Govan and Scotstoun – which employ 3,200 people – have no orders on their books beyond the carriers. About 1,200 are employed in shipbuilding at Portsmouth.

Some of the job losses may be offset by a new contract to build a Type-26 Destroyer, according to reports.

But Scotland's finance secretary, John Swinney, called for "urgent clarity" on the cuts. The shipyard's owner, BAE Systems, said last year that it was considering closing one of its major shipyards as part of a maritime defence review.

Mr Swinney said: "We have been in dialogue for some time with BAE Systems on the issues surrounding the future of the Clyde shipyards. We are awaiting the outcome of BAE's discussions with the Ministry of Defence and are very alert to the situation concerning both yards. We are seeking urgent clarity on the future for both Govan and Scotstoun."

A BAE spokeswoman declined to comment on the job cuts but added: "We continue to work closely with the Ministry of Defence to explore all possible options to determine how best to sustain the capability to deliver complex warships in the UK in the future. This work is ongoing and we are committed to keeping our employees and trade unions informed as it progresses."

Speculation that Govan is being lined up for closure mounted last weekend with the announcement that five cranes at the yard are to be decommissioned, although the historic yard is safe according to the BBC. BAE said the crane move was unrelated to the review.

Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, said: "Shipbuilding is part of Scotland and everything must be done to ensure shipbuilding on the Clyde continues. This will be a particularly worrying time for the workforce and their families but I will work with anyone to make sure we can keep these jobs."

Hugh Scullion, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, said the union would hold talks with senior BAE Systems executives early next week to "examine the business case of the forthcoming announcement".

"Now is not the time for idle speculation or indeed party political point scoring, this is the future of an industry and we need to know from the company and the Government directly what their plans for the future of UK shipbuilding are," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high