People are being urged to sign a petition that calls for the retention of skilled workers at the Portsmouth Naval Base following the closure of the BAE Systems’ Shipbuilding Facility.
The petition asks people to back the following pledge: “I support the protection of high-skilled jobs in Portsmouth and demand that the council and its partners in government work with all parties to protect the long-term future of Portsmouth Dockyard.”
Signatures are being gathered on the doorstep and people can pledge their support online.
John Ferrett, the Leader of the Labour Group on Portsmouth City Council and the Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth North, believes the closure means vital skills will be lost at the Naval Base.
It seems madness to lay off nearly a thousand skilled workers when their skills will be in demand in the near future,” John Ferrett.
John says there is also a feeling of dismay in the city that the MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, is supporting the closure of the shipbuilding facility.
As a PPS for the Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond, Penny Mordaunt was part of the front bench team that announced Portsmouth’s closure in the House of Commons last week.
John Ferrett said: “It is astonishing that the MP for Portsmouth North is supporting the closure of the shipbuilding facility in Portsmouth.
“People in her constituency are facing losing their jobs, yet she is not prepared to speak out on their behalf. Workers need the support of their elected representatives at a time like this.”
“Furthermore, Portsmouth Naval Base will be the home of the two new aircraft carriers and there will be a demand for skilled labour when they come to the city in the second half of the decade.
“It seems madness to lay off nearly a thousand skilled workers when their skills will be in demand in the near future.”