Shipyard Job Cuts

November 6, 2013 by  

Shipyard Job Cuts, BAE Systems is cutting almost 1,800 jobs as it calls an end to 500 years of shipbuilding in Portsmouth. The shipyard will close by the end of 2015, with heavy job losses there and in Scotland.

The end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth brings the curtain down on more than 500 years of the industry in a city that built the Tudor warship the Mary Rose.

The defence giant has announced that 940 shipbuilding jobs will go in Portsmouth and 835 in Glasgow, far more than previously expected. But the jobs of an additional 2,900 BAE staff employed in maintaining and servicing Royal Navy ships at the Portsmouth naval base are not affected.

The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons at 12.30pm, with the MoD set to pick up the tab for restructuring costs that are expected to run into millions of pounds.

Responding to the job cuts announcement, Hugh Scullion, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, said: “Getting an agreement which avoids the need for compulsory redundancies will be central to our discussions with the company. The CSEU will also make it a priority to protect the future of the UK shipbuilding industry by securing investment to ensure the industry doesn’t just survive but prospers in the future.” Unions are set to meet BAE executives early next week.

The end of shipbuilding at Portsmouth is a huge blow to the city, where local politicians suspect political considerations ahead of the Scottish referendum next year have put it in the firing line.

The leader of Portsmouth council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, questioned why a decision was being taken before the referendum.

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