Transparency call over naval base


Union demands transparency over future of Portsmouth naval base

Prospect has expressed its fear that BAE has already taken the decision to close its shipbuilding facility in Portsmouth.

Prospect represents over 300 highly skilled engineers and other senior professionals working for BAE Systems Surface Ships in Portsmouth naval base.  

The union has called on BAE Systems Surface Ships and the Ministry of Defence to be open and transparent on the future of shipbuilding in Portsmouth.

Negotiations Officer John Ferrett said: “The company have been less than forthcoming with unions on their future plans for UK Shipbuilding. We were told that the company was using LEK consultants in October last year, but at no time were we told that the consultants were reviewing which of the company’s yards should be closed. Clearly, when companies take decisions in this way the employees and their representatives have every right to be suspicious.

“Furthermore, BAE has spent the last three years aggregating four legacy businesses in Portsmouth into a single company, with the view to creating a sustainable and integrated business. However, shortly after completing this process in the autumn of 2011, BAE then announced, with virtually no consultation, that they would once again be splitting the shipbuilding business from the rest of BAE Systems Surface Ships.”

Prospect says closure would spell economic disaster for the local community at a time when highly skilled jobs are crucial for economic growth.

The union is concerned that under the Terms of Business Agreement (TOBA) that the company has with MOD, closing Portsmouth will be an easy option, because all the redundancy and closure costs will be met by the taxpayer.