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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Reshuffle helps ease BAE Systems Barrow jobs fears over guns deal

MORE than 40 members of staff in Barrow who were faced with redundancy when a guns contract fell through have secured new shipbuilding jobs – with potential for 30 more.

0513886.jpg
cancellation The Indian government’s decision to cancel a deal to buy M777 guns built by BAE Systems’ Weapons Division put 200 jobs in doubt. The company has found jobs for more than 40 staff in submarines work

In October last year, BAE Systems’ Weapons Teams staff entered a 45-day consultation process after the Indian government did not file an order for 145 M777 guns with the United States.

The failure to secure the order placed in doubt the future of around 200 jobs in Barrow, where the guns are built.

However, BAE Systems Maritime, which is responsible for building the submarines in Barrow shipyard, has confirmed that it has taken on 42 people from the Weapons Teams staff.

The last of those employees began their new jobs at the start of this week.

And there is potential for a further 30 Weapons Teams employees to join the submarines side of the business in Barrow.

Both sides of the business said they were pleased that many members of staff had been able to transfer within the business and stay on the same site.

In addition, around 30 new jobs have been found in the weapons-side business since the redundancy consultation started, while just over 60 employees have volunteered for redundancy.

A BAE Weapons Teams spokesman said efforts were ongoing to find a resolution for the remaining staff.

A BAE Systems Submarines spokesman said: “We have been working closely with our colleagues at Weapons Teams and managed to achieve a real win-win arrangement.

“While Submarines needs to recruit in a number of key skill areas, Weapons Teams faces a surplus due to the market situation.

“As a result, we have been able to take on 42 people, with the last of that number starting on Monday, with potential for 30 more to join us from Weapons Teams.

“Roles range from welders and fitters, to project management personnel and engineers.

“The arrangement has allowed us in Submarines to recruit experienced people with required skills, it has helped to mitigate the surplus at Weapons Teams and it has allowed us to retain important skills in the Barrow community.”

It is understood that BAE Weapons Teams is not optimistic about an order from India in the short-term.

The situation is unlikely to progress before the elections in India due to take place in late spring and early summer.

Another round of negotiations is then expected to start.

A spokesman for BAE Systems’ Weapons Teams said: “Together with other parts of BAE Systems, especially the submarines business, Weapons Systems is doing all that it can to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies.

“Job cuts are never easy but if there is a silver lining to this situation, it is that so many employees have been able to transfer within the business at the same location, minimising disruption to people’s lives.”

Have your say

Weapons Teams.... who are they?

Posted by M777 on 5 March 2014 at 15:47

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