Fallon urged to act on false job claims


Fallon urged to act on false job claims

Defence secretary Michael Fallon has been urged to audit extravagant job creation claims made by firms bidding for big defence contracts, in a letter from Prospect, the union representing more than 11,000 defence specialists.

Prospect highlights the case of General Dynamics of the US, which promised to create or safeguard 10,600 jobs in the UK when it successfully bid for the £3.5bn contract to supply the next generation of light tanks to the military in 2010.

The union estimates that to date, with most of the work having now been awarded, the firm has only delivered on 15% of that pledge. The latest blow to British jobs on the contract came with the recent news that the hull of the vehicle, now known as Ajax, would be made from Swedish steel.

It had already been decided that the bulk of manufacturing would take place in Spain and Germany.

“We deem this [situation] unacceptable given that such promises are made in order to help secure large defence contracts,” Prospect negotiations officer Tony Hammond tells the defence secretary.

His letter continues: “As a result sovereign capability in the design and manufacture of land vehicles has been lost and it is very difficult to see how it could be restored. This makes the UK increasingly reliant on off-the-shelf solutions, which may not meet our requirements and do little to support the industrial base.”

Hammond points out that job claims made by firms bidding for defence contracts in the US are audited. Britain should subject firms to similar scrutiny, he says.

For further information contact:
Tony Hammond
0151 728 9028 (w)
07713 511711 (m)
Andrew Child
020 7902 6681 (w)
07770 304480 (m)