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Government’s defence cuts blamed for Rolls-Royce job losses

Government’s defence cuts blamed for Rolls-Royce job losses

22 January 2013

The government’s ‘short-sighted’ defence cuts have been blamed for the nearly 400 job losses announced today (Tuesday 22 January 2013) by Rolls-Royce.

Unite, the country’s largest union, said that the biggest causality will be the Rolls-Royce plant at Ansty, near Coventry, where Defence Services at the site will run down and close, following the announcement of 378 job losses at its UK defence operations.

Unite national officer for aerospace and shipbuilding, Ian Waddell, said: “The blame for the loss of these highly skilled jobs in the key defence sector lies with the government and its short-sighted determination to ram through massive spending cuts in the defence budget.

“Once again, Unite calls for a coherent defence industrial strategy to be drawn up as matter of urgency to safeguard jobs and a defence industry at which Britain excels. This is vital - otherwise more high-skilled jobs will be lost, perhaps forever.

“There is a very long timescale for consultation and implementation, so we hope that compulsory redundancies will be avoided. However, the underlying reason for the job losses is the government's defence spending cuts announced a couple of years ago.

“The scrapping of the Harrier fleet, for instance, has led to redundancies at the Ansty factory, which will close. Meanwhile, work from Germany will be transferred to Rolls-Royce's site at Bristol.

“Unite will be seeking an early meeting with management to discuss the implications for our members and we will taking every step to safeguard their employment now and in the future.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Ian Waddell on 07768 931 269 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.