BAE Systems has told employees at its Rochester plant that 300 of them are to be made redundant in the New Year.
The 1,600 staff at the Electronics and Integrated Solutions factory were told the news at a meeting on Tuesday. They have not yet been told who will go.
“We recognise that this is an extremely difficult period for our employees and their families,” said Dan Gobel, BAE’s president for platform solutions. “Regrettably, this is a difficult but necessary response to a changing market environment.
“As a responsible company, we are committed to providing support for affected staff including outplacement advice, redeployment and retraining.”
An anonymous member of staff told local newspaper Your Medway: “Everyone’s really down. My boss called everyone in my team together for an urgent briefing shortly after 10am. We knew it was going to be bad news.
“I can’t believe how many people they want to axe though,” the employee added. “A lot of people were just saying ‘thanks, merry Christmas’.”
BAE said it will offer the opportunity for voluntary redundancies first but said it will assess each request on its own merits.
This latest round of cuts brings the total number of UK redundancy announcements up to 2,600 across the BAE group this year. Only last month over 640 cuts were announced across eight of the company’s Integrated System Technologies (Insyte) plants to be implemented over the next two years.