BAE confirms job losses at aircraft factory


Defence giant BAE Systems has confirmed that manufacturing will end at one its aircraft factories, axing hundreds of jobs and delivering a “devastating” blow to workers.

The firm said there was no "viable or practical alternative" to its decision affecting its site at Brough in Yorkshire.

A company statement said: "BAE Systems has today informed employees that it has now concluded consultation on the business proposal to potentially end manufacturing at Brough.

"This is due to no viable and practical alternative being found despite the extensive and meaningful consultation that has taken place with the trade unions and executive representatives.

"The company, during the next stage of consultation, will continue to focus on reducing the number of redundancies and, as far as possible, explore all opportunities to mitigate the potential job losses."

The decision will lead to around 750 compulsory redundancies, although BAE pointed out that from the original 3,000 potential job losses announced across the UK business last year, the company has mitigated over 1,000 through deployment or voluntary redundancy.

BAE said that while manufacturing at Brough will close, the site will be retained for structural and dynamic testing and for engineering support, with a workforce of around 400.

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: "BAE Systems has displayed a disgraceful dereliction of duty to a world class workforce. Management has chosen to take the most extreme decision by unnecessarily opting to close Brough entirely. This means the loss of vital manufacturing capabilities and skills.

"The closure of Brough will have a devastating impact on the local economy. The area is already an unemployment blackspot and today's announcement makes the situation significantly worse.

"Unfortunately because of weak employment laws we are fighting to save manufacturing skills and jobs at BAE Systems with one hand tied behind our backs. The UK's lax interpretation of EU rules on consulting workers on restructuring means employers can get away with taking short-term decisions which affect jobs and skills in the long term."

"The latest manufacturing figures showing weaker-than-expected growth highlight just how tough things are for manufacturing workers. We are going to continue to fight for UK manufacturing and we expect the Government to demand that BAE Systems thinks again."