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Friday, 22 March, 2002, 22:28 GMT
Navy to cut dock jobs
The demonstration
Dock workers in Portsmouth protested over the plans
Hundreds of jobs could be lost or transferred to the private sector from two naval dockyards on the south coast.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) report, seen by the BBC, indicated a major review of naval dockyards in the UK will be announced on Monday.

The MoD refused to confirm the job losses but defence unions condemned the announcement as a "cynical spin to bury bad news" just before Easter.

They also vowed to fight the cuts with strike action if necessary.

The leaked report indicates that up to 500 jobs could be lost and 1,400 jobs transferred from the MoD at two bases on the Clyde in Scotland.

This could mean similar numbers of employees facing redundancy or having their jobs passed to a private company in Portsmouth and Devonport.

A mock Lord Nelson led the protest
A mock Lord Nelson led the protest last month
Last month workers affected handed in a petition opposing the privatisation to the prime minister after demonstrations against the transfer at the yards.

Jack Dromey, national secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, said: "This jobs bombshell is devastating news for workers.

"We will fight to save every job and resist compulsory redundancies.

"If necessary, there will be industrial action."

Defence officials would not discuss the recommendations of the report but said worker numbers were being examined.

An MoD spokesman said a statement on the future of warship maintenance was due to be announced in the House of Commons on Monday.

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See also:

11 Feb 02 | England
Naval dock workers petition Blair
22 Jan 02 | England
Naval dockworkers stage protest
04 Dec 01 | England
Dockyard unions fear job losses
03 Aug 01 | Scotland
Dockyard announces job cuts
12 Dec 00 | Scotland
Unions urge Faslane rethink
14 Nov 00 | Scotland
Unions worry over dock jobs
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