Congress recognises that the state must again become the key economic driver in recovery.
Congress believes that rebuilding a modern, high-tech, manufacturing sector as the fundamental wealth creating aspect of the economy should be a priority.
This will restore and redistribute wealth to ensure a more equal society for all workers.
Congress believes that the power of the finance sector must be curtailed and the ability of corporations and speculators to avoid taxes, transfer wealth to tax havens must be stopped.
We must build up self-reliant production, with extensive government and local government procurement from British-based and -owned producers.
Congress condemns the:
i. run-down of UK defence manufacturing and loss of more than 80,000 shipbuilding and repair jobs since the early 1980s
ii. expansion of outsourcing and casualisation in the Ministry of Defence and private contractors
iii. government’s international competition policies, including for the £1.6bn fleet solid support contract.
Congress recognises that:
a. defence manufacturing is essential to many communities, from Barrow-in-Furness to Derby, and defence spending supports many parts of the wider economy
b. up to 36p in each pound spent on defence manufacturing is returned through taxation – helping fund public services
c. the 1990s submarine order gap, which led to catastrophic losses in jobs and skills, must never be repeated
d. there is welcome potential for manufacturing orders under the Aukus agreement.
Congress further recognises that defence manufacturing cuts have hindered the UK’s ability to aid the Ukrainian people under brutal assault from Putin’s regime. Congress believes that the world is becoming less safe and the policy carried in 2017 in favour of diversifying away from defence manufacturing is no longer fit for purpose.
Congress notes the chronic lack of investment industry and that the UK’s skills development as a percentage of outputs is the lowest of all 34 listed OECD nations.
This has severely weakened the British economy, reducing our ability to fund public services, utilities and advanced technology and led to inflationary pressure taking money from our vital services.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
1. convene a major national initiative involving sympathetic manufacturers, unions, professional bodies and industrial area administrations to establish a national commission for manufacturing to oversee a revival in all sectors and plan a rejuvenation of production and skills development
2. produce a campaigning document in consultation with all affiliates on the importance of manufacturing revival for us all and seeking the support of all candidates in national and local elections for our position and publicising their responses
3. support affiliates’ campaigns for immediate increases in defence spending in the UK including GMB’s Making It campaign, for defence contracts to be placed in the UK where possible and shipbuilding orders to be placed with UK yards
4. demand a 30-year pipeline of defence work across sectors, including delivery in full of the Astute and Dreadnought programmes that are essential to jobs at BAE Systems in Barrow and Rolls-Royce in Derby.