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18 October 2010
The strategic defence review (SDR) will be a 'body blow' for thousands of skilled ministry of defence (MoD) jobs, Unite, the largest union in the country, warned today (Monday, 18 October).
The SDR is due to be unveiled tomorrow (Tuesday, 19 October) against a backdrop of Whitehall in-fighting and claims that Britain's aircraft carriers will operate without planes for a period.
Unite is concerned about the future of its 15,000 industrial members working for the MoD, in such jobs as tank fitters and aircraft refuellers.
Unite's national officer for the MoD, Kevin Coyne said: 'Thousands of skilled jobs are at risk in defence maintenance, as is the apprenticeship programme for the next generation of skilled employees.'
'This government's short-term view policy of 'cuts, cuts, and more cuts' will be a body blow for these skilled jobs, so vital in ensuring that Britain has a defence strategy that is coherent and will actually deliver the logistical support in a joined-up fashion.'
'Hundreds of skilled fire fighters and trained civilian ground staff will lose their jobs in, mainly, rural communities which will have a devastating knock-on impact to local economies. RAF bases will also be closed.'
'MoD guards will be cut back. At a time of heightened security, it is foolish to axe this critical civilian force. They may be replaced with soldiers who are already stressed and who cost almost twice as much as the civilian force.'