Job fears for 1,000 at Portsmouth

Unions are to meet defence giant BAe Systems to discuss the future of the firm's three shipyards amid a review of its business.

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Rally to save Portsmouth Shipyard

Portsmouth residents attend rally to save the city's shipyard

Scores of Portsmouth residents turned out to back a rally in support of saving the city's dockyard and the 940 BAE jobs there currently at risk.

The firm made an announcement earlier this week that it would begin closing the site next year. The proposal would see the end of centuries of shipbuilding in the city.

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Thousands support 'Save Portsmouth Shipyard' site

The Save Portsmouth Shipyard Facebook group Credit: Facebook

A Facebook page calling for BAE Systems jobs in Portsmouth to be saved has got more than 60,000 'likes' within days of being set up. The plans to cut 940 jobs in the city will end five centuries of shipbuilding from next year.

Work on the new £800 million aircraft carriers will move to Scotland, but the ships will be based in Portsmouth, with workers maintaining them. You can see the Facebook page here.

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Bishop: Portsmouth job losses 'shocking news'

The Bishop of Portsmouth said the loss of 940 jobs at Portsmouth dockyard is shocking news.

BAE Systems announced earlier that shipbuilding would cease in the city from 2014.

The Rt Rev Christopher Foster, Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth, said: "This is serious and shocking news for Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

"Most of all for those whose jobs are directly now at risk and their families but for the whole community and local economy.

"The decision of BAE and the Government will not be understood by most of us and does no justice to the commitment of this city and area to our island and naval safety for generations."

Southampton Itchen Labour party opinion on job losses

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen and Rowenna Davis, Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen have spoken out about the news of shipbuilding job losses in Portsmouth.

Labour secured ship building on the south coast with shares of the destroyer and carrier programmes. Government statement today made clear that no efforts have been made to win new work for Portsmouth in the past three years and that they have agreed to transfer work from Portsmouth to other shipyards. Many on the south coast feel they have been sold down the river by a government whose interest and attention has been elsewhere.

– John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen

The end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth is a great loss for the 1200 workers there, and for our country as a whole. Our thoughts are with employees and their families as this great 500 year tradition and all their hard work comes to an end. Labour worked hard to secure shipbuilding in the South of England, whilst this government has done nothing, following the same path as Ford earlier this year. Now our Royal Navy may be forced to commission work abroad or from a potentially independent Scotland. We should be protecting and supporting our skilled jobs, not letting them slip away.

– Rowenna Davis, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen
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