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Ministers called on to step in to stop BAE jobs cull fears

LABOUR and unions urged the government to step in at BAE Systems yesterday amid rumours that the arms giant is to shed more than 1,000 jobs.

The cuts, thought to be announced today, are expected to hit Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire, where aircraft assembly takes place.

New BAE chief executive Charles Woodburn warned that its workforce at other sites will also be “trimmed.”

The workers’ union Unite is demanding an urgent meeting with the company and has called on the government to commit to building its next generation of fighter aircraft in Britain.

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith said: “This is devastating news for the workers and their families.

“The men and women who work on the Eurofighter are highly skilled and the potential loss of these jobs would have an appalling impact on them, the local economy and wider supply chains.

“The government must come forward urgently with a clear plan to secure these jobs at BAE, as well as a proper defence industrial strategy to give the industry the certainty that it needs.”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The UK government can end the uncertainty surrounding the future of thousands of British BAE defence jobs at a stroke by committing to building the next generation fighter jets here in the UK.

“If these job cuts materialise it will significantly undermine our nation’s sovereign defence capability and leave us reliant on foreign powers and foreign companies for the successor to the Typhoon and the defence of the nation.”

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