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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 April, 2004, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Campaign to secure defence jobs
BAE shipyards in Barrow
Hundreds of people have already lost jobs at the Barrow yard
Councils and trade unions are to step up their efforts to secure jobs at a Barrow shipyard after an announcement that more than 700 posts will be axed.

Defence giant BAE Systems said on Friday it would cut 760 jobs, mainly at the Cumbrian yard where 3,000 people are employed building submarines.

But unions say the move will have a devastating effect on the region.

Barrow Borough Council leader Terry Waiting said a major campaign would be launched to try to secure jobs.

In announcing the job cuts, BAE Systems said it needed to match its resources to its current and future requirements.

The firm also wanted to establish and maintain a competitive cost base.

Lobbying campaigns

The yard is currently building three late-running and over-budget Astute submarines for the Royal Navy.

Mr Waiting said on Saturday: "We did warn the government and BAE that purely focusing on the Astute submarine programme at Barrow would not sustain the job numbers.

"We now need unions, MPs, councils, North West Development Agency and Furness Enterprise to redouble their efforts to not only secure the Astute submarine programme but get surface shipbuilding work back into the yard."

Furness Enterprise, the local job creation agency set up at the start of the redundancies in the yard, has been heavily involved in major lobbying campaigns to try to safeguard the future of naval shipbuilding and the yard.

The organisation's chief executive, Harry Knowles, said: "It is very worrying that we continue to lose jobs in such a key industry for the Furness area.

"The workforce involved in naval shipbuilding in the entire country is already down to around 4,500 and the significant majority are at Barrow.

"We have both the biggest naval shipbuilding order book for decades and the smallest workforce ever to deliver it.

"We have to keep on trying even though we keep on getting knocked back."

Defence giant makes 760 redundant
02 Apr 04  |  Cumbria
Yard completes submarine work
29 Sep 03  |  Cumbria
Pay dispute threatens warship work
15 Sep 03  |  Cumbria

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