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BAE to axe 1,100 jobs and close site

Union says ‘bitterly disappointing’ for workers and local communities, especially in Cheshire where site will close down

Defence company BAE Systems is to axe 1,100 jobs and close one of its sites, unions said today.
The Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) said the news was “bitterly disappointing” for workers and local communities.
The cuts will affect a number of sites, including Woodford in Cheshire, which will close, said the union.
The CSEU’s general secretary, Hugh Scullion, said: “This is bitterly disappointing news for the staff and for the local communities which rely on these jobs.
“This is particularly true in the case of the proposed closure of Woodford. The CSEU will work constructively with the company to keep redundancies to a minimum and ensure no compulsory redundancies.
“The CSEU believes there is still an opportunity to extend production at the Woodford site.”
BAE later announced that, following a detailed review of its current and future business levels, it had started consultation on the potential closure of Woodford and cuts at another three sites, with the loss of 1,116 jobs.
The firm is planning to close the Woodford site at the end of 2012, on completion of the Nimrod MRA4 production contract, with the loss of 630 jobs.
A further 205 jobs will be lost at Samlesbury in Lancashire, 170 jobs at Warton in Lancashire and 111 jobs at Farnborough in Hampshire.
The company said in a statement: “It has been clear since 2003 that the Woodford site had little future beyond the end of Nimrod MRA4 production, and the workforce has been kept informed since that time.
“Despite strenuous efforts to achieve further Nimrod production work, there has been none forthcoming. It is intended that there will be a phased run-down of the site in line with the production programme.
“At Samlesbury, the potential job losses are in the manufacturing function and are associated with the end of Airbus work currently undertaken by BAE Systems for Spirit AeroSystems.
“At Warton, the potential job losses are in the manufacturing and operations areas as work on the Nimrod, Tornado and Hawk programmes decreases.
“At Farnborough the potential job losses are in the Harrier business. The job losses are as a result of a downturn in Harrier upgrade work over the next few years.”
Kevin Taylor, managing director of BAE’s Military Air Solutions arm, said: “Whilst we regret having to make this announcement, we have to ensure we are the right size and shape to remain competitive and meet our customer’s requirements in the future.
“We will work with our employees and their representatives to explore ways of mitigating these potential job losses and we will do everything necessary to deal with the potential job losses and closure of Woodford in a professional way and support our people throughout this process.”