Workers shocked by BAE's decision to cut 1,000 jobs

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The Independent Online

Workers at BAE Systems were said to be in "shock" yesterday after the defence giant unveiled plans to cut hundreds of jobs. Unions said almost 1,000 jobs at five military factories and other sites would be lost in the latest cull, warning that the cuts could be the "tip of the iceberg".

Meetings will be held at the affected sites next week but union officials warned that the defence industry faces an uncertain future, with a strategic review looming and the Government poised to announce spending cuts.

Hugh Scullion, the general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, said: "The unions are shocked at the scale of these losses and will be demanding an explanation from BAE...

"With the forthcoming defence review these cuts may be the tip of the iceberg but knee-jerk reactions from employers could make things even worse. Cuts are being demanded before the shape of the defence industry has been decided."

The company said there could be 212 job losses at Brough, in East Yorkshire, owing to a reduction in workload, mainly on the Hawk programme; 26 at Chadderton, Manchester, because of a reduction in workload in the large aircraft business; 55 within the Harrier team at Farnborough, Hampshire; 149 at Samlesbury, Lancashire; and 298 at Warton, Lancashire.

Kevin Taylor, managing director of BAE's Military Air Solutions division, said job losses were likely in manufacturing, engineering and associated support functions. Such losses would result from the changes in the defence programme announced in December 2009, together with other workload changes, he said.

Another 206 job cuts have already been announced at BAE's Insyte unit.

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