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Friday, February 12, 2010

BAE Cuts 230 Jobs At Cumbria Submarine Site

BAE Systems plans to cut up to 230 jobs at its submarine site in Barrow-in-Furness following a business review, the company has announced.

The BAE Systems construction hall dominates the skyline in Barrow-in-Furness

The defence firm launched a 90-day consultation with unions over the job cuts and said the move was unavoidable.

BAE Systems Submarine Solutions employs around 5,000 people across nine UK locations, constructing the Astute class of nuclear-powered submarines.

John Hudson, managing director at BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, said the job cuts were "necessary but regrettable" to make sure the business was sustainable.

"We have a responsibility to manage our cost base to remain competitive and meet our customers' future requirements," he said.

Hugh Scullion, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, said that with a "positive attitude to negotiations", there would be no need for compulsory job losses.

"Local talks have been initiated to mitigate the numbers of jobs to be lost and we believe that through volunteers, transfers, re-training, re-skilling, and the use of mobility agreements, this will negate the need for compulsory redundancies," he said.

"This is not the time to rid the shipbuilding industry of its skills base.

"There is an ongoing build-up of work on the carrier project and more work to continue with the Astute Project.

"These skills are required now and will be into the future. That is why the talks need to be proactive to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies."

The GMB union said the move was indicative of "damaging short-termism".

It claimed the MOD's instruction to BAE to slow down the speed at which the submarines were built was behind the planned job cuts.

"This decision is nothing short of damaging short termism which is not in the best interests of UK manufacturing or the community in Barrow or other places that rely on the defence industry for jobs," it said. (Source sky)