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500 jobs go at faslane

the scotsman | 23.03.2002 11:09 | Peace not War

drisgruntled workers to help protesters??

Workers at the Faslane base staged a protest over the prospect of their jobs being privatised.

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500 jobs to go at Scots naval bases

Jeanette Oldham

The government is thought to be set to announce the planned cuts among naval support services at the Coulport and Faslane facilities on the Clyde.

It is also believed 1,400 jobs at the two bases will be transferred into the private sector. An announcement is expected to be made in the Commons on Monday.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman last night refused to confirm the job losses but hinted that they could be in the offing as part of an imminent overhaul of naval infrastructure manufacture across the UK.

The spokesman said: "The government is planning to make an announcement shortly about warship-support modernisation.

"We have been looking at the manner in which we make and repair warships for some time. We have a smaller fleet than we did 20 years ago and modern warships require less maintenance and need to reflect a better use of defence budgets. No change is not an option."

Earlier this month, workers at the Faslane base staged a protest over the prospect of their jobs being privatised.

Jack Dromey, national secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, said it had put forward an alternative plan to defence ministers to save jobs. He 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. There is a problem of over-capacity but we proposed a public sector alternative to use the skills and spare capacity rather than slash jobs."

Meanwhile, a lucrative order to build fighter-jet components, seen as a significant boost to Scotland’s declining aviation manufacturing industry, is under threat, it emerged last night.

BAE Systems’ Edinburgh plant, making rear fuselage for 120 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the US, may have to abandon work after the US Navy and US Marines yesterday announced that orders for the aircraft would be slashed by 30 per cent. The move is aimed at averting a budget crisis in five years, when extra cash in the US’s military budget is due to run out.

the scotsman