Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2013

BAE takes the axe to shipyards: Defend every job

Chris Pickett, Portsmouth Trades Council, personal capacity
BAE System Shipyard, Govan, Glasgow, photo wiki commons: user:bjmullan

BAE System Shipyard, Govan, Glasgow, photo wiki commons: user:bjmullan   (Click to enlarge)

The shocking news that 1,775 jobs will go at BAE in Glasgow, Fife, Bristol and Portsmouth has angered thousands of workers. The end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth after 500 years has provoked enormous rage.

At very short notice, over 200 trade unionists and community activists rallied in solidarity with workers at the Portsmouth BAE shipbuilding yard on Saturday 9 November, getting excellent support from the public.

Portsmouth's BAE workers and their supporters have responded with the call for a united campaign with workers from Glasgow, Rosyth, and Filton.

A statement from BAE workers, issued by Portsmouth Trades Council said: "We should not follow the lead of local politicians who argue to cut jobs in Scotland to save jobs in Portsmouth. We should fight to save all shipbuilding jobs, wherever they are. BAE and the government can be put under pressure to keep all the shipyard jobs, if there is a concerted campaign."

Messages of support and invitations have been sent to unions at all yards affected to join the demonstration in Portsmouth on Saturday 16 November to show that solidarity will win.

For every job lost in this industry, jobs will go in the supply chain and local communities. It will suck over 25 million in lost wages out of Portsmouth and pile on equal misery in Scotland and Bristol.

This is a highly skilled workforce, to lose these skills is the worst kind of industrial vandalism by this government. The potential could be used to harness these and continue civilian maritime production and to diversify.

Enormous profits have been piled up by BAE running tax-payer financed government contracts. While workers get P45s, top BAE executives get huge pay and bonuses.

If BAE is prepared to run down this industry, it is the bosses who should be sacked. BAE should be nationalised and production planned with the involvement of the unions and local communities.

To succeed, a determined campaign needs to be built. Many workers will ask how this government of millionaires can be defeated. Last Saturday showed how much support BAE workers have. This could be mobilised behind united strike action at all yards to put huge pressure on the government.

Shipyard workers are not fighting alone. Recent strike action by teachers, university workers, probation officers and firefighters has had strong support. All workers could be brought together in a united campaign to save all jobs under threat in the public and private sector.

The same day these job cuts were announced, 500 jobs went down the road at the pharmaceutical company Novartis in Horsham. Events are crying out for the TUC to name the date to strike back against austerity, for a 24-hour general strike.

March on 16 November

Assemble from 12pm at Portsmouth Dockyard's Trafalgar Gate

  • Portsmouth, Govan, Scotstoun, Rosyth, Filton, unite to save all jobs and stop all closures!
  • For immediate trade union preparation for industrial action
  • Nationalise to save the jobs and skills!
  • For a massive united demonstration outside BAE HQ and the MOD in London
  • For the TUC to set the date for a 24-hour general strike
  • Donate to the Socialist Party

    Finance appeal

    The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

    The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

    The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

    • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
    • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
    Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
    We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

    Please donate here.

    All payments are made through a secure server.

    My donation


    Your message: 


    In The Socialist 13 November 2013:

    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Government set back over Independent Living Fund

    NHS crumbling in Con-Dem Britain

    Benefit sanction figures expose Tory lies

    Abolish the bedroom tax

    Labour blocks living wage

    Them & Us

    Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

    TUSC: We need councillors who refuse to implement cuts

    Socialist Party workplace news

    BAE takes the axe to shipyards: Defend every job

    Nationalise to defend the shipyards

    Portsmouth BAE workers rally to defend all jobs

    Probation officers plan more action

    Tesco drivers fight on

    Vote for Martin Powell-Davies

    Blacklist Support Group demonstrates

    Workplace news in brief

    International socialist news and analysis

    US election campaigns: Socialists make history

    Sri Lanka: spotlight on a blood-stained regime

    Socialist Party reports and campaigns

    A small victory for democratic rights

    Young workers say: Zero hours no way!

    Socialism 2013 feedback

    South African socialist speaks in South Wales

    TUSC film showing - Riot from Wrong

    Socialist Party reviews

    Russell Brand - reasons to be cheerful

    Play review: Sandpits Avenue/League of St George


    Home   |   The Socialist 13 November 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

    Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

    Related links:


    triangleSouth Western Railway staff strike for safety

    triangleD-Day for fighting Trump attack on NHS

    triangleThe unheard voices of Gosport

    triangleTrump out - Tories out!

    triangleFerry workers protest against 2.45 an hour pay


    triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

    triangleWorkplace news in brief

    trianglePortsmouth: 'Save the yards, nationalise'


    triangleYouth Fight for Jobs is back

    trianglePost-pandemic railway battles loom

    triangleYFFJ: more urgent than ever


    trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

    triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed


    triangleSt Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike


    triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

    Reports and campaigns

    Reports and campaigns



    New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now



    Public sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!



    Government departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed



    Football: Smash racism


    Socialist Party

    Why I joined the Socialist Party



    Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism


    Bin workers

    Workplace round-up



    St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike



    Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT



    GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure



    We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July



    Stop Pimlico gentrification


    Socialist Party

    Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke


    Socialist Party

    Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign


    Youth Fight for Jobs

    Youth Fight for Jobs is back

    triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

    Join the Socialist Party
    Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
    Donate to the Socialist Party
    Socialist Party Facebook page
    Socialist Party on Twitter
    Visit us on Youtube



    Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

    Email: [email protected]

    Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

    Regional Socialist Party organisers:

    Eastern: 079 8202 1969

    East Mids: 077 3797 8057

    London: 075 4018 9052

    North East: 078 4114 4890

    North West 079 5437 6096

    South West: 077 5979 6478

    Southern: 078 3368 1910

    Wales: 077 7221 5281

    West Mids: 024 7655 5620

    Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



    Alphabetical listing

    July 2021

    June 2021

    May 2021

    April 2021

    March 2021

    February 2021

    January 2021