Washington factory survives devastating BAE job cuts

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A NEW Wearside factory has escaped the job cuts at BAE Systems.

The defence giant is to cut nearly 3,000 jobs at sites across the country, mainly in its military aircraft division.

The biggest losses will be in Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and at Brough in East Yorkshire, although jobs will also go at the firm's head office in Hampshire.

BAE is in the process of transferring 350 staff from its pre-war works in Birtley to a new plant in Washington’s Vigo Lane.

A spokesman confirmed today that the job cuts would have no effect on the move to the Washington factory.

BAE took possession of the new plant in January and transferring production from Birtley had been under way since March and is due to continue until early in the new year.

Jobs at the plant have been secured after BAE signed a 15-year £2billion partnering agreement called Munitions Acquisition – the Supply Solution with the Ministry of Defence.

 Birtley has doubled mortar bomb production under the agreement and the new plant will have even greater capacity to meet the needs of frontline troops.

Commenting on the job cuts, Ian King, BAE Systems’ chief executive, said the business needed to maintain its competitiveness and ensure its long-term future.