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Unite the Union’s Isle of Wight Engineering branch says it is deeply concerned by the 18 job losses announced at the BAE Systems Maritime Services site at Cowes, which amounts to 7.5% of the workforce. 

Representatives of the branch say that any job losses will further reduce capability thereby undermining the site’s future.

It was announced earlier this week that almost 2,000 jobs are to be loss nationwide, including 340 in Portsmouth.

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Unite is calling upon the business to fully justify any job losses against its workload and if job losses become inevitable then, where necessary, BAE Systems must take all reasonable steps to mitigate them.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Engineering Branch has said:

“Unite the Union is alarmed by the increasing amount of defence work being outsourced abroad. By 2020, twenty-five pence of every pound spent on UK defence spending will find its way to American factories alone rather than being spent here in the UK. The government states it appreciates the importance of the radar industry to the UK and the economic advantages this brings, but is not committing to place an order for a future ground based ballistic missile defence radar with the BAE Systems’ site at Cowes.

“With thirty-six pence of every pound spent on defence work in the UK being returned to the economy, the advantages of UK based procurement are clear. This is particularly so on the island where the economy is so fragile. The Unite branch, therefore, calls upon the government to act decisively and quickly in committing to place this work with BAE Systems at Cowes”.

Unite has also written to the Island’s MP, Bob Seely, requesting his support and asking him to urge the Government to commit to placing an order for the future ground based ballistic missile defence radar with BAE Systems, Cowes.

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