Babcock, the shipbuilder, has announced another 150 job losses at its shipyard in Rosyth, where the work continues on the second of the two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy.
The shares of the company were down 3.52 percent on the news. The decline adds to a miserable last few months for the investors in the defence contracting giant.
A spokesperson from Babcock stated: “We anticipate the loss of around 150 specific roles which are no longer needed.” His remarks come after an assessment of the current workload and medium-term opportunities of the company.
The most recent round of cuts brings the number of people who are laid off at the site in the past 18 months to 550. It comes as the firm approaches the end of its project that is building the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.
Babcock is considered as the second-biggest supplier to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It works on a range of major projects that are critical to national security which includes major work on the submarines which house Trident, the nuclear deterrent.
The spokesperson noted: “Today’s workforce announcement is a continuation of the need to right size our organisation.”
The announcement of the lay-offs met heavy criticism from Ross Murdoch, the national chair of shipbuilding of the GMB union. He said that the workers were “paying the price for the government’s betrayal of UK shipbuilding.”
Murdoch continued: “Rather than ensure a steady drumbeat of shipbuilding orders that keep the industry alive, the Conservatives seem content to let UK shipbuilding die out in the name of the free market.”
He added: “Appledore is on the brink of closure, Cammell Laird is slashing jobs and now this. When will the Government step in to save our centuries-old shipbuilding heritage.”
A spokesperson from the MoD stated: “Although this is a commercial decision for Babcock, we continue to invest in British shipbuilding as demonstrated by our Type 26 and Type 31e programmes.”
He added: “Babcock’s Royal Rosyth yard has played a key role in our Queen Elizabeth Class carrier programme and just last month was awarded a £5m contract to carry out maintenance on HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year.”
Babcock holds 128 government contracts which include projects for nuclear and marine defence. It has seen its shares under pressure since late last year when a note of an anonymous analyst questioned the relationship of the company with the Ministry of Defence.