BAe workers to join march urging job protection

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Workers from a threatened Yorkshire aircraft factory will be joining a “march for jobs” today as more than 11,300 people signed up to an e-petition calling for Government action.

BAE Systems workers, supported by colleagues from across the trade union movement, are due to march from Hull’s Cenotaph to Queens Gardens.

The petition, calling on the Government to protect skilled jobs and apprenticeships, has been creating following news of thousands of job cuts across the defence giant, including 900 at Brough.

Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson challenged the Government to do more.

He said: “They are saying they want to do everything possible for manufacturing – let’s see what they are going to do apart from hot air and waffle. This is something where they have a huge influence.

“Defence contracts are not governed by competition rules.”

The e-petition, launched by staff union convenor Ian Gent, has to reach the 100,000 mark, to trigger a Commons debate.

Mr Gent is hoping to put questions to BAE chief executive Ian King at a bi-annual trade union forum at Farmborough next Thursday.

He urged people to sign the petition, saying the impact on local jobs went far beyond the 899 under the axe: “We can’t afford for this to fizzle out, we have to keep some heat and fire underneath it.”