Brough workers' fury at 'hypocrisy' as BAE champions UK manufacturing while axing 899
BAE Systems has been accused of hypocrisy for championing the future of British manufacturing while axing 899 jobs in East Yorkshire.
The aerospace giant has been chosen to showcase the best of British manufacturing as part of the Government's "Make it in Great Britain" campaign.
The exhibition featuring Typhoon jets, made in part by the company's threatened Brough workforce, is being shown at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in London.
Now, the company, currently bidding for a billion-dollar contract which would see Hawk jets manufactured in America, has come under fire for acting as ambassadors for UK manufacturing.
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Union convenor Ian Gent said: "They shouldn't be telling us on the one hand that they are ambassadors of UK manufacturing and then on the other hand operate a slash and burn policy when it comes to jobs.
"It is just so hypocritical."
"If they are ambassadors for UK manufacturing, they would be beating our doors down saying there may not be much Hawk or Typhoon work around, but they will find us something to keep us going in the meantime, but they are simply not doing that."
Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis said: "It's all very well and good showcasing the best of British aerospace manufacturing, but there isn't going to be any industry left without a great British workforce and sadly that is what is under threat at Brough."
BAE has announced plans for 899 redundancies at Brough, a move which would signal the end of a 95-year history of manufacturing.
The Mail has launched its Battle for Brough campaign, linking up with workers and politicians in an attempt to save jobs.
So far, almost 15,000 people have signed an e-petition calling on the Government to intervene to protect the BAE workforce.
However, fears are mounting that BAE Systems is moving away from its traditional manufacturing base and could even be preparing to take production abroad.
The Mail understands Lancashire will become the new home of the Hawk if the company goes ahead with the job cuts ending manufacturing at Brough.
However, questions are being asked about whether the workforce in Samslesbury and Warton has the capabilities to build the world-class aircraft, fuelling concern that manufacturing could be switched abroad.
There are also concerns BAE Systems is planning to move away from its traditional manufacturing base to take on more project managing roles.
Unions and politicians fighting to save Brough claim both rumours raise questions about the company's commitment to both manufacturing and Britain.
Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson said: "David Davis and I are pragmatic politicians.
"We do not, in general, buy into conspiracy theories but we, along with the unions and workforce at Brough who have been examining BAE's argument for ending manufacturing at the site, keep on returning to the suspicion that there is a plan to move this work abroad."
Business Minister Mark Prisk visited the aerospace exhibition yesterday after a meeting of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, bringing business leaders and Government together to address barriers to growth, boost exports and grow the number of highly-skilled aerospace jobs available.
Mr Prisk said: "Britain's aerospace industry is one of the biggest manufacturing success stories.
"We are the largest aerospace sector in Europe and second only to the United States globally.
"The UK aerospace industry creates £23bn of business a year, of which 70 per cent is exported.
"That is why I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support the industry and showcase its successes with exhibitions like this one."
However, Marina Hartley, 46, whose husband Paul is facing redundancy after 27 years, criticised BAE's involvement in the promotion of British manufacturing.
She said: "I'm really angry about this – it is just another blow. It stinks.
"They are boasting about being the best of British manufacturing but they are not putting their money where their mouth is. It is disgusting.
"If they are that good, why are they shutting the factories? It doesn't make sense.
"The workforce themselves are proud of their work and their skills. BAE is only the best because of those men."
Roy Cartwright, union works convenor at Brough, said: "It's treacherous of the company to try and showcase itself as an organisation committed to manufacturing in Britain when it seems to be committed neither to Britain or manufacturing.
"The biggest part of our business is already in the United States and I have no doubt that more of our work will end up there in the long run.
"It is Brough today, it will be Warton and Salmesbury tomorrow. No job is safe as there is no doubt BAE is shrinking its operations in the UK."