'Dark day' as BAE axes 3,000 jobs
Defence giant BAE Systems has confirmed that almost 3,000 posts are to be axed on a "dark day" for British manufacturing.
Sites across the country will suffer cutbacks, while the firm signalled the end of production at its factory in Brough, Yorkshire, which currently employs 1,300 workers.
Unions and politicians attacked the firm for the way the grim news had leaked out over the past three days, saying workers had been treated "appallingly".
Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems, said: "Our customers are facing huge pressures on their defence budgets and affordability has become an increasing priority. Our business needs to rise to this challenge to maintain its competitiveness and ensure its long-term future."
The biggest job cuts will be at sites in Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and at Brough, although staff will also be hit at the firm's head office in Hampshire.
Labour leader Ed Miliband told his party's annual conference that BAE Systems had been "sold down the river" by the Government, which is cutting back on defence spending.
The Government said everything would be done to help those affected by the announcement, but unions warned that so many job cuts threatened the UK's skills base.
Unite union national officer Ian Waddell said: "It's a dark day for thousands of skilled men and women across the country and it is a dark day for British manufacturing."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This news from BAE Systems will be a serious knock to the individuals and communities affected.
"My officials and the BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) local teams are already in touch with the company, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships to make sure that everything possible is done to help those affected at Brough, Warton, Samlesbury and other sites."