Unite, Britain's biggest union, has called for EADS and BAE Systems to give guarantees that no jobs will be lost as a result of merger if the two companies proceed with their plans.
The union has been pressing both companies and the UK government for assurances over the future of EADS and BAE Systems UK’s plants.
Meeting yesterday (Tuesday) with Michael Fallon, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the union urged the minister to press for assurances that UK jobs would be protected before giving the green light to the merger.
Unite will continue “intense dialogue" with both BAE Systems and EADS in the run up to the merger decision. Further discussions are planned with Shadow Ministers and with MPs who have BAE or EADS sites in their constituencies.
Ian Waddell, Unite's national officer for aerospace & shipbuilding, said: “We have been in intense dialogue with both BAE Systems and EADS and understand the industrial logic behind the merger proposal.
“Both partners are saying that the new company will be an engine for growth and will be stronger than its constituent parts.
“If that is the case, then they should put to rest any uncertainty by giving a guarantee that no jobs will be lost as a result of the merger.”
On the meeting with Michael Fallon, Ian Waddell added: “We had a constructive meeting with Michael Fallon. The UK government has a 'golden share' in BAE Systems and a regulatory obligation to discharge. We argued that the government must do all it can to ensure that the UK jobs and our long term economic interests are protected in the merger.
“The new company will have 48,000 highly skilled employees in the UK. It will be our largest manufacturing company, part of the biggest aerospace and defence company in the world. The UK would have a key part in the new company, so it is vital that job security is guaranteed.”
For further information contact Alex Flynn, Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665 869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.