BAE Systems is a name that you may not have heard, unless you do a lot of purchasing for the military that is. For the rest of us, who are not professionals in the field of procurement, here is a look at how the company describes itself; “We’re building on our strength as a global provider of defense and security products to shape support services that meet the changing needs of our customers. From sophisticated cyber services and military support, to mission critical electronic systems and protection equipment, we aim to be at the forefront of defense technology and science.”
The company apparently believes that they can be in the forefront without a significant number of its workers. The company is getting ready to get rid of about 600 of its workers in the near future. More than 300 of those will come from a facility that the company is closing.
The facility in question, which is based in the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has been used for military manufacturing since before the First World War. That facility, which dates back to the 1840’s, will lose 330 workers as it shuts down. The rest of the job cuts, number about 280 in total, will comes from sites in Radway Green, and South Wales, making these layoffs fairly serious in scope.
Charlie Blakemore, the marketing director for the company had the following to say about the job cuts to a reporter for The Belfast Telegraph, “”We need to adapt to very challenging market conditions and further reduce our overheads to drive better value for our customers and increase our competitiveness in the export market.
I know that this is difficult news for employees and we will do all we can to help them through this difficult period and mitigate the proposed job losses wherever possible.”
While the company is blaming the losses of jobs on the overall reduction in force to a decease in military spending in the UK the union for the workers is more concerned with impact that the layoffs will have on the local economy. In the same piece where the company made it statement Rehana Azam, an official of the GMB union said the following, BAE Systems have a highly experienced and skilled workforce and these job cuts are yet another blow to manufacturing. Representations are being made to MPs to see what can be done to retain skills within BAE Systems and in traditional industrial areas of the UK.” Kevin Rowan, regional secretary of the Northern TUC said, “The announcement from BAE Systems is a hammer blow to North East manufacturing. Losing so many highly skilled and well paid jobs is devastating for all individuals concerned as well as to our local economy.”
Interestingly enough the company was recently awarded a big contract by the government. In a release the company said, “BAE Systems has been awarded a £328m contract for the design of the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines.” So perhaps there is the hope of hiring in the future? Only time will tell.BAE Systems to Cut 600 Workers by Harrison Barnes