Today the Morning Star reported that BAE Systems is set to announce the loss of 1000 jobs from it’s jet fighter construction sites in Lancashire. This will produce tremendous hardship for the individuals concerned as well as for the community and ultimately the Country.
This workforce is highly skilled and highly paid. Once again we see that the Arms Industry does not provide secure jobs. Steve Turner of Unite asks that the next generation of fighter jets be built in this country. This is NOT the answer. People are not buying these planes, hence the job losses.
The only way to provide secure, sustainable jobs is to look to diversify the Arms Industry, producing socially useful products, not planes designed to kill, often innocent men, women and children. Such planes as these are being used by Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen adding to the devastation of that Country. We now have a chance to look seriously at diversification into such as off-shore wind power generation using the skills of this workforce. Such a programme has been proposed by the Labour Party through it’s shadow Defence Diversification Agency.
The Arms Industry kills. We need more electricity generating capacity. Off-shore wind and tidal power are ways of doing it at the same time protecting the jobs of this workforce.
Dr Christopher Butler, Yorkshire Labour CND rep.