Business round up

This week’s business round up


Orders drop spells cuts


Aerospace group BAE is considering “sizeable” job cuts after order levels in its defence division fell short of expectations. The group has not decided how many jobs it will shed and hopes to achieve the losses through voluntary redundancies and transfers to other divisions. BAE ñ formerly British Aerospace ñ says the cuts will come across the country. Last year the firm announced 4,500 job losses as a result of its £6bn purchase of Marconi Defence Systems. Sir Ken Jackson, Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union general secretary, said, “This is very worrying news, but we need to clarify the extent of any job losses. We will work very hard to try and minimise the impact on jobs.” The bulk of the losses are likely to be caused by a drop in orders for its Hawk trainer jet, which is manufactured at Brough, West Yorkshire.


Tyre firm slashes jobs


Tyre manufacturer Goodyear has axed 250 jobs from its plant in Wolverhampton this week. Goodyear shed the jobs after staff rejected a package aimed at reducing redundancies and the TGWU will ballot a further 280 employees for the package. The package included changes to shift patterns and working practices and is part of management’s plan to reduce costs and improve productivity.


TGWU calls for answers


Union leaders have demanded that General Motors global chief executive Rick Wagoner appears before MPs to justify his decision to axe 2,000 jobs at Vauxhall’s Luton plant. Bill Morris, general secretary of the TGWU, has urged the Trade and Industry Select Committee investigating the closure to summon Wagoner to give evidence. He said, “The company’s decision is an act of industrial vandalism against the workers and the community.” Chairman Nick Reilly last week appeared before the committee of MPs, which visited Luton to hear how GM’s decision to stop car production in the town will hit the area’s economy.

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