Unite is demanding answers over the leaked news of merger talks between BAE Systems and EADS. By Tony Burke, Unite Assisant General Secretary.
The news came as a total surprise to Unite and the workforce, which brings into question when and what did BIS know? The lack of any information and consultation is a major disappointment and will leave our members asking questions we are not able to answer.
It’s just not acceptable. Reuters is reporting today that US officials and the UK Government have been briefed on the proposed merger. So why didn’t the companies think about briefing the workers representatives and the workforce themselves about these developments.
The days should be long gone when workers find out that their future employment could be under threat by reading about in in the media.
Unite is seeking an urgent meeting with BAE Systems, EADS and government ministers Vince Cable and Philip Hammond
Unite national officer for aerospace, Ian Waddell made it clear that the our first priority will be to safeguard jobs and skills. As Ian says: “Any merger will need political approval in Europe and the USA. Questions need to be asked about when the UK government knew about this and what they will do to safeguard jobs?”
The new company will be worth $48 billion (£29 billion) and would be the largest manufacturing company in the UK, employing tens of thousands of workers in critical defence manufacturing and at Airbus in the UK.
Unite will be demanding answers and that the Government ensures these jobs are protected in the UK before approving any further merger talks.