Transfer of AWE back into public ownership has been a shambles from start to finish

1 July 2021

A government minister has visited the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) today to mark the establishment’s formal transfer back into public ownership.


The transition to a public sector arms-length body happens officially today (01 July). Disappointingly, the AWE completely failed to engage properly with its workforce in preparing for the transition.

Sue Ferns, Prospect senior deputy general secretary, said:

“The transfer of the Atomic Weapons Establishment back into public ownership has been a shambles from start to finish, and the failure to engage with staff and their representatives risks seriously undermining the relationship between the organisation and its highly specialised workforce.

“Prospect stands ready to work with AWE and the MOD to resolve the remaining issues, but it is deeply regrettable that the deadline last night passed without any real attempt to find agreement.

“This is an incredibly important national facility, and it is extremely worrying that this process has been handled so poorly and with ministers apparently completely disengaged.

“As the Minister visits AWE today he should be asking searching questions about why the future of a critical component of our national defence has been handled in such an amateurish way.”

aircraft carrier runway


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