In a controversial move, Congress in Brighton passed a resolution calling for trade unions to work with the Labour Party to close down defence companies and attempt to transfer these jobs to other manufacturing industries. The motion also raised issues about future support for the successor programme.
Prospect, which represent thousands of skilled jobs in the defence and shipbuilding sector, was one of only two unions to speak against this controversial policy. Prospect worked with the GMB to oppose this demand, but it was passed with the support of Unite.
Prospect members opposed this motion as an unrealistic threat to skilled unionised jobs and also because this approach would be likely to put the UK’s security under threat.
Following the passing of the motion, Prospect will be urgently seeking assurances from the TUC that they will continue to speak up for skilled unionised jobs in the UK defence sector.
Tom James, a Prospect rep from the defence sector, said: “The real problem is not the need for diversification, it is the trend of successive governments to give work to foreign companies who fail to deliver on their promises.
“Defence needs a long term strategy that will enable the industry and its workforce to plan with certainty and security.
“The defence industry doesn’t need diversification we need sovereign capability and contacts placed with UK companies.”