Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Jobs Lost Because BAE Did Too Little Too Late' MP Critical of Manufacturer for Bid Loss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Jobs Lost Because BAE Did Too Little Too Late' MP Critical of Manufacturer for Bid Loss

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson

HUNDREDS of Tyneside workers will lose their jobs because manufacturing bosses at BAE Systems let them down, MPs have claimed.

Tyne Bridge MP David Clelland claims the manufacturer lost a pounds 1bn bid to make a new light tank for the army after coming up with a last ditch effort to create 400 posts "out of the blue".

His blunt admission comes as regional minister Nick Brown warns more must be done to save "the last of our domestic ability to produce our own fighting vehicles".

The manufacturer, which is making at least 270 of its 650 strong workforce redundant, changed its plans to include more workers after previously saying it would only reduce redundancies by 100 if successful. Tyneside MPs had backed efforts to save jobs at the Scotswood Road factory in Newcastle.

When it was leaked that General Dynamics would create 200 new jobs and safeguard thousands more, BAE Systems made a revised bid. This, Mr Clelland says, was too little too late.

"They did come too late, there is no doubt about that," he said.

"It was just on the cusp of the announcement and they out of the blue decided they would somehow create 400 jobs.

"All along they had told us there would be 270 redundancies and if they got the work they could save 100 of these.

"So to come at the last moment when, as far as I'm aware, civil servants had made their decision and to ask of us then to put this to ministers is a bit late in the day to say the least.

"We, Nick Brown and myself, made representation and the final decision was delayed but the damage was done, it was too late to change things."

He added: "When it all came out it shot the legs from under us, but as a result BAE changed their bid.

"But it was just too late, they should have been up front in the first place.

"They have always given us the impression that their jobs would mainly go to Sweden. …

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