Unethical Careers Service

January 20, 2009

By Barnaby Pace

First Published Warwick Boar 20/1/09

There is a group in the world that facilitates murder, evades the legal system, spies on its enemies and is implicated in war crimes, terrorism and genocide, and no I am not talking about the Bush administration right now. I am in fact referring to the global arms industry. It is alone in its reckless pursuit of profit through selling products designed to kill to whoever they can. Arms dealers can take many forms, from the seedy gun runners who transport weapons violating UN embargoes to Liberia, Somalia or North Korea, but more often those in the arms trade appear more like the average businessman or worker. However these two extremes of appearance cannot be separated, it is the big companies of this world that produce the weapons that end up all over the world, you cannot talk about Victor Bout (portrayed in the film Lord of War) without talking about companies such as BAE Systems or Lockheed Martin who make the weaponry in the first place.

In a capitalist based world the arms trade’s primary motive is profit, through selling weapons to whoever can pay, unsurprisingly those who pay often intend to use the weapons, this often conflicts with the legality and morality of the rest of society. As an arms company gets larger, it can pay for better political connections and better public relations, but the conflict between its activities and what it would like to admit is always there. The topic has become much more obvious over the last few years with the discoveries, investigations and court cases surrounding the Al-Yamamah arms deal to Saudi Arabia, in which BAE systems was the primary supplier of weaponry. It is alleged that BAE paid over £1 billion in bribes to members of the Saudi Regime. This case is not unique; BAE alone is currently being investigated for six other bribery cases around the world. Arms companies are not willing to disclose their customers, this may be common practice among many businesses. Most businesses however do not need to hide that they sold fighter jets to Robert Mugabe (as BAE and Rolls Royce have), torture equipment for Guantanamo Bay (BAE subsidiary Hiatts), or gave £1 million in bribes to General Pinochet (BAE again). This is merely a taste of what has been uncovered about the arms industry.

Arms companies frequently attempt to defend their activities, claiming that they are essential for employment, despite the huge subsidy they receive amounting to an estimated £13,153.23 per arms trade job. They claim to be essential for national security yet sell to anyone they can and skew our own military’s equipment purchases. They claim that “If we didn’t do, someone else would”, a defence heroin dealers would love if it worked in court.  Arms companies must be forced to account for their actions and therefore what is needed is not PR but an examination of the facts.

I feel that everyone should know these facts about arms companies. I especially feel that students who might think about applying for jobs with arms companies should know these facts. Yet our own university inform students at all. Instead every few weeks an arms company will come and recruit on campus, spreading their own propaganda about their company, promoted and legitimised by the Careers Service. You might see some protestors outside the building handing out leaflets, asking arms industry representatives searching questions at their stalls, or unveiling t-shirts detailing facts about arms companies in the fair before being escorted out by security, believing that T-shirts with facts about arms companies are too disruptive. The Careers Service should be assisting students to learn the full facts about potential employers, instead the careers service advertises for companies, no matter their quality, and does not allow the negative side of the company to be seen. It is left to the handful of anti-arms trade campaigners to attempt to inform students about these companies’ dirty dealings that they will not include in their recruitment pitch. I am proud to be a part of the Weapons out of Warwick campaign, who oppose these merchants of death whose profits come at the unacceptable cost of causing the deaths of millions and untold suffering around the world.

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BAE protest at Warwick University

January 20, 2009

Account of our disruptive protest against a BAE recruitment event

Last Thursday, a group of Warwick university students, in opposition to the arms trade and in solidarity with Gaza, protested a recruitment event run by BAE and Warwick Careers Service. BAE is the third largest arms manufacturer in the world and the inclusion of Israel in its (very colourful) list of customers made action particularly important at this time for us. On their way in, attendees were leafleted with our BAE alternative careers guide (available at https://weaponsoutofwarwick.wordpress.com/ ) At the start of the talk a group of students stood up, with one giving an excellent and emotive speech about the darker side of a career with BAE. During the talk itself a second group stood up to disrupt the presentation by reading a second speech, heroically ignoring the pleas of the Careers Service to be quiet. At the end of the BAE presentation the sheer number of students asking questions about the unethical nature of the company led to the group question session being abandoned. It is strengthening to be part of a broader campaign across universities against companies such as BAE and after our action we had much excited chatter about activism over a pint or two.

Companies Profiles for the Warwick Internships Fair 15/1/09

January 14, 2009

The University careers service recommends that you find out as much about the companies attending the fair today as you can, we feel that this is a very reasonable suggestion. We feel that some of the companies attending today, are unlikely to give a full account of their activities and therefore this leaflet is intended to help you know the facts that the companies attending probably will not include in their recruitment pitch. Although the members of the Weapons out of Warwick campaign have strong opinions about the negative impact of these companies in the world, we acknowledge that not every student agrees with us, we feel that students whatever they’re opinion should be aware of the issues surrounding the arms trade, the environment, corporate ethics and any potential employers who visit our campus.

Rolls Royce

17th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the world[1]. 2nd Largest UK Arms Company. Approximately $14.2 Billion of Military Sales making up 25% of total sales[2]. Rolls Royce is the 2nd Largest Manufacturer of Aerospace Engines powering approximately 25% of the world’s military aircraft and has its equipment installed on over 2,200 warships including all of the UK’s nuclear submarines.

Rolls Royce Produces engines for Military aircraft made by other arms companies such as BAE systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, they manufacture the engines for the Eurofighter, Jaguar, Harrier, Tornado, Hawk Jet, Apache and Tiger attack helicopters. Rolls Royce also deals in ship design, electronics for naval forces and submarine equipment. Rolls Royce’s Subsidiary Rolls Royce Raynesway manufacturers parts for nuclear reactors including control rods, valves and other components and its plant at Raynesway has numerous safety concerns about the control and techniques for nuclear waste disposal[3].

Military customers include Israel, Indonesia (Hawk jets sold during the East Timor conflict and allegedly used against civilians in the Aceh province), Turkey, US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Brunei, Malaysia, South Korea, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Rolls Royce also sells the jet engines used in the Myanmar national airline which is a nationalised operation which helps finance the Burmese Junta.

Detica

Detica is owned by BAE systems (92% controlling stake. Detica provides consultancy, customized technology, and knowledge management services to government and corporate clients in the defence, homeland security, counterterrorism, intelligence, and Federal markets sectors. BAE believes the UK ‘homeland security and resilience market’ will double to more than £3bn by 2011 and looks to cash in on this[4].

Nestlé

The Warwick Student’s Union supports the Baby Milk Action’s boycott of Nestlé[5]. Nestlé employs approximately 253,000 people in some 511 factories worldwide. Nestlé is the world’s largest food company[6]. With products like Perrier and Nescafé, it is the market leader worldwide in coffee and mineral water[7], the largest manufacturer of pet food, and is fast increasing its share of the ice cream market.

Needless to say, however, this version doesn’t give a very full explanation of the scandals which have plagued the company. The most obvious damage to Nestlé’s reputation has been its unethical marketing of artificial baby milk, particularly in the global south. This started to become a major issue in the 1970s when War on Want published a report called “The Baby Killer”, which was translated into German by the Berne Third World Action Group who were subsequently sued for libel, having named their version “Nestlé Kills Babies”.[8] In 1977 a boycott was launched, which continued until 1984, when Nestlé agreed to abide by the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. However, the fact did not match up to the promises and the boycott was re-launched in 1988, continuing vigorously today.

There is, of course, much more to Nestlé than the baby milk issue. The company has attracted criticism for its use of genetically modified ingredients, and for its cocoa and coffee-buying policies, including purchasing cocoa from Ivory Coast, which has recently received heavy press coverage due to the existence of child slavery on cocoa plantations. The company has also been implicated in lobbying against vaccination of livestock during the British Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001. From environmental destruction in Brazil to the intimidation of trade unionists in Colombia, from demanding millions in compensation from hunger-stricken Ethiopia to bolstering its image through proposing donations to breast cancer charities – Nestlé is one of the world’s most campaigned against companies. [9]


Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is a hugely significant private funder of oil and gas extraction and exploration. Between 2001 and 2006, RBS provided over $10 billion in loans to oil and gas projects. The embedded carbon emissions resulting from these projects in 2006 were greater than the carbon emissions for the whole of Scotland. RBS has positioned itself as ‘the oil and gas bank’. With dedicated oil and gas offices, RBS has significant experience and expertise in the sector, and provides crucial services to oil and gas companies. Working as a hands-on partner to the industry, RBS structured the loan agreements and acted as financial adviser on over $30 billion of projects between 2001 and 2006. Other banks describe RBS as the most competitive in the sector, prepared to undercut other banks and offer cheaper loans and finance the projects no other British bank will.

The intimate relationship that RBS has with the fossil fuel industry extends to new areas of expansion. As traditional oil extraction begins to peak, unconventional fossil fuels, such as oil sands and coal bed methane, are becoming a reality. Previously inaccessible, this ‘dirty’ oil requires far more energy to convert into usable forms than traditional crude oil, resulting in much higher carbon emissions. RBS has called the development of oil sands an “energy-financing growth area”, and identified the need for “drilling dollars” for coal bed methane development. [10]

The NUS and Warwick Students Union is committed to putting pressure on RBS due to RBS’s poor environmental record. The NUS National Treasurer has written twice to the RBS Chairman, threatening to stop banning with them and “…seek alternative, more ethical banking options” by their AGM in 2009, should RBS not significantly change this support and conduct a full and published investigation into their entire, embedded carbon footprint.[11]

For more information see weaponsoutofwarwick.wordpress.com

Or the Facebook group Weapons out of Warwick

Please recycle this leaflet


[1] CAAT Publications – Rolls Royce, http://www.caat.org.uk/publications/companies/rolls-royce2003.php , Accessed 7/10/07

[2] Rolls Royce Annual Report 2006, http://www.rolls-royce.com/investors/reports/2006/pdfs/rrar_2006.pdf , accessed 7/10/07

[3] “A basic summary of what we know about Rolls Royce Raynesway (RRR) and Rolls Royce (RR) as a company” handout.

[4] Financial Times 29/7/08

[5] Warwick Students Union Policy 506 “Nestle”

[7] Hoovers Database, Nestle – Company overview www.hoovers.com/co/capsule/5/0,2163,41815,00.html

[9] Corporate Watch, Nestle Overview http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=237

[10] People and Planet, “The Oil Bank of Scotland, RBS Campaign Summary” http://peopleandplanet.org/ditchdirtydevelopment/privatefunding

[11] Warwick Students Union Policy 684 “Putting pressure on Natwest/RBS”


Arms Companies at Warwick 6/10/08

October 6, 2008

Arms Companies at Warwick

There are a number of arms companies attending the “Graduate Recruitment Fair” on the 6th and 7th of October. The University careers service recommends that you find out as much about the companies attending as you can, we feel that this is a very reasonable suggestion. We feel that arms companies do not provide a full account of their activities and therefore this leaflet is intended to help you know the facts the arms companies attending probably will not include in their recruitment pitch. Although the members of the Weapons out of Warwick campaign have strong opinions about the negative impact of these companies in the world, we acknowledge that not every student agrees with us, we feel that students whatever they’re opinion should be aware of the issues surrounding the arms trade and the companies who visit our campus.

Rolls Royce

17th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the world[1]. 2nd Largest UK Arms Company. Approximately $14.2 Billion of Military Sales making up 25% of total sales[2]. Rolls Royce is the 2nd Largest Manufacturer of Aerospace Engines powering approximately 25% of the world’s military aircraft and has its equipment installed on over 2,200 warships including all of the UK’s nuclear submarines10.

Products

Rolls Royce Produces engines for Military aircraft made by other arms companies such as BAE systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, they manufacture the engines for the Eurofighter, Jaguar, Harrier, Tornado, Hawk Jet, Apache and Tiger attack helicopters. Rolls Royce also deals in ship design, electronics for naval forces and submarine equipment. Rolls Royce’s Subsidiary Rolls Royce Raynesway manufacturers parts for nuclear reactors including control rods, valves and other components and its plant at Raynesway has numerous safety concerns about the control and techniques for nuclear waste disposal[3].

Who they sell to

Military customers include Israel, Indonesia (Hawk jets sold during the East Timor conflict and allegedly used against civilians in the Aceh province), Turkey, US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Brunei, Malaysia, South Korea, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Rolls Royce also sells the jet engines used in the Myanmar national airline which is a nationalised operation which helps finance the Burmese Junta.

EADS Defence and Security Systems Limited

8th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the World, Approximately $16 Billion of military sales in 2006[4], 20% of business is military.

Products

EADS products include fighter and transport aircraft, helicopters and missiles. They also manufacture Nuclear Missile launch systems, Cruise Missiles, Ballistic Defence Missiles (Controversially being used in the “Missile Shield” by the US and NATO), Eurofighter and Tiger Attack Helicopters.

Countries Sold To

Deals of special interest include Cougar Helicopters to Brazil, Super Puma Helicopters to Indonesia, Exocet Missiles to Qatar and Oman, Anti-Tank missiles to Turkey, Mistral Missiles to South Korea. EADS also sells military aircraft to more than 89 operators in 38 countries including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, South Korea, Oman, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, Poland, The United Arab Emirates[5] and allegedly Burma (Via India)[6].

General Electric (GE)

28th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the world. Revenue for the Industrial division of GE is $13.8 Billion[7]. One of the world’s top 3 Jet Manufacturers

Products

GE specialises in engines and component for aircraft, Helicopters tanks and small marine vessels. GE engines can be found in the C5, Air Force One, F-14, F-15, F-16, Stealth Bomber (B-2), U-2, Joint Strike Fighter, Stealth Fighter (F-117), India LCA, X-45B (unmanned attack aircraft), F/A-18 Super Hornet, J79, M1 Abrams Tank, AH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter, A-10 Thunderbolt and others[8]. GE claims that their engines are found in over 55 Countries. GE also sells component for submarines and warships including the US and UK nuclear submarines. GE has also designed more than 90 nuclear facilities and was involved in testing the effects of radiation on humans.

Who they sell to

GE supplies US, UK, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand and many others.

Cummins

Cummins is the largest supplier of diesel engines for defence purposes in the Western world and works closely with other arms companies such as BAE systems and Lockheed Martin. Cummins engines can be found in the VSEL AS90 self-propelled howitzer, Bradley Armoured Fighting Vehicle, the MRLS self-propelled rocket launcher, the Scorpion light tank[9]

Cummins military Products are used in the militaries of the US, Israel[10], China, Sudan[11], UK, Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, France, Austria and Poland.

Land Rover

Land Rover’s Defender 4×4 is used for both civilian and military purposes around the world. Land Rover claims to have 70,000 of its vehicles in use around the world[12]. Land Rovers can be found with the militaries and security forces in Zimbabwe, Sudan[13], Israel and UK.

Unipart

Unipart is an established supplier of services to the UK Defence sector, offering supply chain capabilities and experience of continuous improvement and lean operations.

Unipart’s military products include Future Integrated Soldier Technolgy (FIST): “The FIST system will provide the soldier with improved situational awareness, lethality and survivability.”[14] Battlegroup Thermal Imaging (BGTI) is a programme collaborating with Thales (11th largest arms company globally[15]) to fit thermal imaging (TI) sights to Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) and CVR(T) Scimitar Close Reconnaissance variants.

These vehicles are currently sold to the militaries of the Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Ireland, Brunei, Botswana, Nigerian, Oman, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Venezuela, Honduras, Chile, Belgium, UK, Canada, Germany.

To find out more about the Weapons out of Warwick Campaign see weaponsoutwarwick.wordpress.com


[1] CAAT Publications – Rolls Royce, http://www.caat.org.uk/publications/companies/rolls-royce2003.php , Accessed 7/10/07

[2] Rolls Royce Annual Report 2006, http://www.rolls-royce.com/investors/reports/2006/pdfs/rrar_2006.pdf , accessed 7/10/07

[3] “A basic summary of what we know about Rolls Royce Raynesway (RRR) and Rolls Royce (RR) as a company” handout.

[4] EADS Annual Review, http://www.eads.com/xml/content/OF00000000400004/5/07/41590075.pdf, Accessed 7/10/07

[5] CAAT Publications – EADS, http://www.caat.org.uk/publications/companies/eads2003.php , Accessed 7/10/07

[6] “Indian helicopters for Myanmar: making a mockery of the EU arms embargo?”, Amnesty International Report, http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA200142007?open&of=ENG-2AS , Accessed 7/10/07

[7] GE Annual Report 2006, Financial Statement, Segment Operations, Industrial Segment, http://www.ge.com/ar2006/mda_segop_ind.htm , accessed 7/10/07

[8] GE Military Engines http://www.geaviation.com/engines/military/index.html,  accessed 7/10/07

[9] World Defence Systems Website- Company Profiles – Cummins http://www.sovereign-publications.com/cummins.htm accessed 30/9/08

[10] Defense update online defense magazine http://www.defense-update.com/newscast/0608/news/news1706_euro_xtream.htm accessed 30/9/08

[11] Amnesty International Annual Report 2006

[12] Army Technology Website – Land Rover http://www.army-technology.com/contractors/vehicles/ landrover/accesssed 1/10/08

[13] “British firm breaks Sudan arms boycott” Jon Swain & Brian Johnson Thomas Sunday Times, 22/4/2007

[14] Unipart Defence Website http://www.udefence.com/cms/udalweb.nsf/vCategory/7B3DAAF53D89EDDF802571FD00511574?OpenDocument accessed 29/9/08

[15] World Rank is from the 2006 top 100 taken from Defense News Top 100 July 2007