Bosses at defence giant BAE Systems will meet with Lancashire MPs next week to answer fears over job cuts as part of the company’s merger with rival EADS.
The House of Commons meeting on Monday will see MPs quizzing bosses over how work would be divided between the UK and its proposed European partner.
It follows fears raised at meeting that work around the flagship Eurofighter Typhoon contract could be shifted to Germany as part of any merger.
Preston MP Mark Hendrick said he would be challenging bosses from BAE and EADS over keeping jobs at BAE’s fighter jet-building factories at Warton and Samlesbury, near Preston, which employ more than 11,500 people.
He said: “There are a lot of questions at the moment and people are apprehensive about the situation.
“I have been asked to ensure the company keeps Typhoon manufacturing in the UK and not move it out to Germany, make sure any merger will allow for all staff to move seamlessly to an enlarged company and, if there are jobs to go, they should be among the executive, not on the shop floor.
“All we know at the moment is the little the company has put out to the stock exchange, but this is a workforce which has seen four sets of redundancies in recent years, it is not surprising they are apprehensive.”
Meanwhile Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has called for the Government to meet with Lancashire’s MPs before the house rises on Tuesday.
He said: “BAE Systems is one of Britain’s most important blue chip companies and it is the backbone of manufacturing in Lancashire.
“As we know thousands of people are directly employed by the company and there are three times as many jobs in the supply chain.
“Mark Hendrick MP and I are calling on the government to meet with Lancashire MPs regarding developments before the House rises on Tuesday.
“The timescale for any merger means that decisions could be made before the House returns in October.
“There are two important things for BAE Systems to remember, that the British Government has a major share holding in the organisation and that the company’s biggest client has always been the British government – it’s quite simple, the company would not be where it is today, or as profitable as it is, without the major military contracts it has received from the Ministry of Defence.
“A prerequisite to any take over must be the safeguarding of jobs in Lancashire and the rest of the United Kingdom.”
Last week, Preston North and Wyre MP Ben Wallace said the deal was “a takeover dressed up as a merger” and warned against the French and German governments, which have large stakes in EADS, from axing British jobs.
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