'Investing in jobs and communities at home'

Unite calls for domestic defence procurement to support UK jobs

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Unite called for the government to prioritise UK jobs and industries when issuing defence contracts at Congress in Brighton on Wednesday (October 19).

Supporting composite two on economic recovery and manufacturing jobs, the union said hundreds of thousands of skilled workers in shipbuilding, defence, steelmaking and other industries are all being failed by a government with ‘no plan, strategy or ambition’.

Calling for a manufacturing commission to be set up, Unite said both UK materials and labour must be prioritised when Ministry of Defence contracts are tendered.

Addressing Congress, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said, “For too long taxpayers’ money has been used to prop up the economies of Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia when government should be investing in jobs and communities here at home.

“It doesn’t require an increase in defence spending to ensure that our naval support ships are built here with UK steel and composites, cabling and technologies, in shipyards from Appledore to Belfast, Birkenhead to Rosyth.

“Or to commit to the Dreadnought, Lynx and Tempest programmes – supporting thousands of skilled, unionised jobs from Barrow to Bristol, Preston to Yeovil.”

By Ryan Fletcher

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