WORKERS at BAE Systems, Farnborough, were dealt a blow this week when the company announced 98 redundancies.
On Tuesday the company confirmed 98 jobs would go at Farnborough as part of a programme that will see more than 1,000 employees being made redundant at sites across the UK.
The two areas hit at Farnborough are both air and sea — 68 jobs engineering jobs are to go in Air Systems and 30 management positions in Sea Systems.
One worker, who did not want to be named, said employees were briefed on the job cuts but did not necessarily know what was going on.
“We were told that there will have to be redundancies.
“I think my experience in work is you have no idea what the management is doing.
“It’s really not worth second-guessing them.”
In a statement the company said the aviation job losses were necessary because the engineering and design stage of the Nimrod programme was winding down.
“Farnborough deals with the design and technology side of the business and work on the Nimrod is slowly coming to an end,” said spokeswoman Lisa Hilary.
“There’s also an economic reason — we’re just not seeing the workload come through.”
The company also wishes to consolidate other major projects at sites in Lancs and Texas.
Similarly contracts for the Sea Systems are still to be confirmed, so the company is keen to secure major submarine projects in Barrow-in-Furness and Clyde.
Richard Coltart of Sea Systems said the job losses were not extraordinary.
“We’ve been managing the Astute submarine programme in Farnborough. This is winding down and the building work is going in Barrow. All we can do now is reduce numbers.”
Both divisions are planning to hold talks with the employees and trade union representatives.
Employees will be offered a voluntary redundancy package and some will be offered job offers in other parts of the country.
Employees at Sea Systems should know their situation next month and redundancies and job losses at Air Systems will be announced throughout the year.
Last week Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said BAE was not a British company because more than half its shares were foreign-owned. Some media reports suggested this could spell bad news for the company future bids for contracts.