We, the undersigned senior conveners, write this open letter to the chief executives of the five major defence manufacturing companies (Ian King, BAE; Peter Rogers, Babcock; Jean-Bernard Levy, Thales; John Rishton, Rolls Royce; Fabrizio Giulianini, Selex SE) on behalf of around 12,500 skilled workers across Scotland.
In six months’ time defence manufacturing workers and their families will be asked to vote on Scottish independence. The decision each person has to make could have major consequences on their livelihoods for years to come. So it is of great concern that our respective employers have yet to communicate directly with their employees to explain the implications of the referendum on the defence industry in Scotland.
We are concerned that defence industrial sites in Scotland are in a vulnerable position based on the statements that have come from the UK Government in relation to Ministry of Defence contracts. Scottish defence workers urgently need clarification from their chief executives on what independence means for present and future order books; investment policy in infrastructure, capital projects, technology development, as well as apprenticeships and training; and company pension schemes.
The independence debate is intensifying across workplaces in the defence industry. It’s imperative the people we represent go to the ballot box with their eyes wide open. It is time for the senior figures of Scotland’s defence industry to show leadership and guidance and assist their employees in making an informed choice based on fact rather than speculation.