Rolls-Royce’s continued failure to offer guarantees over compulsory redundancies is leading to mounting anger that raises the possibility of industrial action, warned Britain’s largest union Unite today (Wednesday 29 April).
The highly skilled workforce is angry that despite securing a record $9.2 billion order for Emirates Airlines, Rolls-Royce is ploughing on with plans to cut 2,600 jobs from its aerospace division, which could see compulsory redundancies at a number of sites in the UK as early as July.
In a strongly worded letter to the company’s CEO John Rishton, union representatives accused Rolls-Royce of offshoring UK manufacturing jobs, saying: “Given the company’s order book and level of profit, we see no reason for the proposed job losses in the UK other than they are the result of choices the company has made to move work elsewhere. This is nothing less than the export of UK manufacturing jobs.”
Warning that the Rolls-Royce unions would resist compulsory redundancies by ‘every means open to us’ the letter goes on to say: “We therefore wish to give you notice that we will not tolerate compulsory redundancies in the UK, whether through workload reductions, management reviews, outsourcing or offshoring.
“We will challenge TUPE transfers, or situations where agency workers or contractors are given more protection than permanent employees. We will resist compulsory redundancies by every means open to us, including industrial action.”
Commenting, Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “The UK workforce is world class and has proved time again to be at the cutting edge of engineering and manufacturing.
“They have shown their loyalty in building up Rolls-Royce, but are now feeling increasingly betrayed over the company’s continued refusal to give assurances on jobs and guarantees over redundancies.
“The workforce is at snapping point and industrial action will become a very real possibility unless Rolls-Royce gives a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.