BAE Systems is to cut up to 3,000 jobs in Britain. Europe’s biggest defence contractor says shrinking defence spending means fewer orders for its fighter jets.
As they cut government spending the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain are slowing production of the Eurofighter, and the United States, the world’s biggest arms market, is also slashing billions from its weapons’ budgets.
The company has already laid off around 15,000 people worldwide over the last two years.
It is another blow for the UK government. The latest figures showed unemployment in Britain rose at its fastest pace in two years, to 7.9 percent of the workforce.
Trades Union Congress chief Brendan Barber said the job cuts were “yet another devastating body blow to our manufacturing base.”
The job losses will come in northern England, at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and Brough, East Yorkshire.
Unite, the biggest trade union representing BAE workers, vowed to fight the lay-offs. “The government cannot sit on its hands and allow these highly skilled jobs to disappear,” it said.
“It’s a dark day for thousands of skilled men and women across the country and it is a dark day for British manufacturing. BAE Systems have dealt a hammer blow to the UK defence industry and Unite is determined to fight the cuts.”