[2022] Motion 04 Defending manufacturing jobs

Composited motion

Received from:

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 recognises that defence manufacturing cuts have hindered the UK’s ability to aid the Ukrainian people under brutal assault from Putin’s regime.

Congress further recognises that:

i. defence manufacturing is essential to many communities, from Barrow-in-Furness to Derby, and defence spending supports many parts of the wider economy

ii. up to 36p in each pound spent on defence manufacturing is returned through taxation – helping fund public services

iii. the 1990s submarine order gap, which led to catastrophic losses in jobs and skills, must never be repeated

iv. there is welcome potential for manufacturing orders under the Aukus agreement.

This Congress condemns the:

a. run-down of UK defence manufacturing and loss of more than 80,000 shipbuilding and repair jobs since the early 1980s

b. expansion of outsourcing and casualisation in the Ministry of Defence and private contractors

c. government’s international competition policies, including for the £1.6bn fleet solid support contract.

Congress therefore instructs the General Council to:

1. campaign for immediate increases in defence spending

2. support affiliates’ campaigns, 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

3. 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.