BAE Systems workers protest on executive pay at AGM

Posted on 3 May 2012

Staff at defence group BAE Systems criticised their company over senior pay and a factory closure at the annual meeting on Wednesday.

BAE Systems’ senior management came under fire from employees about plans to close the company’s factory at Brough, Yorkshire, with the loss of 900 jobs.

Attending the meeting, Dan Milmo of The Guardian newspaper reported that staff condemned “underperforming” senior executives, who had been rewarded in the annual pay round, while the company had taken the decision to close the Brough site. One employee Paul Bell, was reported as saying: said: “You have not performed and you are getting pay rises. We are performing and you are sacking us.”

BAE Systems’ chairman Dick Olver said the company could not justify keeping the Brough site open following substantial cuts in UK defence spending.

Nigel Whitehead, director of BAE’s UK business, said that lower production of Eurofighter Typhoon jets and changes to the American F-35 fighter programme had left the company with too much manufacturing capacity. He told the AGM that, given the economics, he had little choice but to shut down Brough while focusing on saving jobs at BAE’s sites at Samlesbury and Warton in Lancashire.