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Lancashire BAE job losses ‘can’t be stopped' fear
REDUNDANCIES at BAE Systems “probably won’t be stopped” even if a deal with the Indian Government is struck, according to trade union officials.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told the Commons this week that a £7.2billion deal for Eurofighter Typhoon would be decided “within weeks”.
The fuselage of the jet fighter is assembled at BAE’s plant in Samlesbury, with final assembly at Warton – two sites currently undergoing consultation for 1,400 job losses because of a slowing order book.
Phil Entwistle, Unison organiser, said: “We’ve known that the deal announcement is imminent for about a month, but everybody is still concerned.
“If we do get the Indian deal it would benefit both Samlesbury and Warton, but it could take up to two years before we’ve cut the first piece of metal.
“The planes might not be ready until 2019. I can’t see it helping this round of redundancies really.
“We need something now.”
In September, bosses at the defence giant confirmed that there will be 565 redundancies at Samlesbury and 843 at Warton, with a three-month consultation over jobs due to finish on Boxing Day.
It is thought that up to 25 per cent of the shopfloor jobs at the two plants will be lost, with other cuts being made in management.
Mr Entwistle said: “This is the fourth round of redundancies we have had since 2009 and those people who wanted to take voluntary redundancy have already gone.
“There will be more compulsory redundancies this time and people who are 55 will be looked at for early retirement, but it’s not always financially viable for them to do that.
“If you leave early you get penalties on your pension,” he added.
BAE Systems are also looking at a possible multi-million pound deal with the Japanese Government for the Eurofighter Typhoon.
A House of Commons debate on BAE Systems’ 3,000 planned job losses across the country has been scheduled for Thursday, November 24 by MPs on the Backbench Business Committee.