BAE staff braced for 3,000 job cuts
Workers at defence giant BAE Systems are braced for grim news of thousands of job losses which unions warn will deliver a "hammer blow" to manufacturing.
Leading unions called for urgent talks with the company over the impending jobs cull, which is expected to see 3,000 posts axed at the firm's military aircraft division.
Unite said it needs immediate clarification of which sites will be hit, and pledged to press for redundancies to be voluntary.
Sites expected to be worst affected are in Warton, Lancashire, and Brough, East Yorkshire, where workers will hear their fate in the coming days.
Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: "These job losses will be a hammer blow to the UK defence industry, which is already reeling with the consequences of the Government's 'buy off the shelf' policy."
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said the news is "a devastating blow for Lancashire and Yorkshire and a real knock for UK manufacturing", adding: "We need a fast response from ministers with a clear plan of action. At a time when it is so hard to find a new job, this is a dreadful moment to lose the one you have.
"The defence industry is vital to the UK, supporting both our forces on the frontline and the wider UK economy. Labour's industrial strategy has been replaced with this Government's deficit reduction plan and as a result both our industrial base and our equipment programme are being hit."
GMB national officer Keith Hazlewood said: "There were indications that there might be more job losses at BAE on top of the redundancies that have already happened but I am shocked by the scale of these cuts. This is a devastating blow for these communities, for the aerospace sector and for UK manufacturing."
A BAE spokeswoman said: "BAE Systems has informed staff that we are reviewing our operations across various businesses to make sure the company is performing as effectively and efficiently as possible, both in delivering our commitments to existing customers and ensuring the company is best placed to secure future business
"As the outcome of this review becomes clear, we will, as always, communicate to our employees as a priority."