Unite Scotland has today (8 June) supported calls for the creation of an Aviation and Aerospace Task Force which would focus on Rolls Royce as up to 700 jobs are under immediate threat at the company’s Inchinnan site.

Local MSP, Neill Bibby, has publicly called for the creation of a Task Force and the need for the Scottish Government to work with other key stakeholders including Unite to avoid mass redundancies. Unite has asked the Scottish Government to consider emergency financial support for the workforce and that Rolls Royce should halt any redundancy process while the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme is in operation. 

As the country’s leading aviation and aerospace trade union, Unite on 13 March wrote to the First Minister following a previous letter to the Transport Minister, Michael Matheson, on 6 March, demanding that a Task Force be established due to the unfolding crisis in the sectors following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Unite’s call for the establishment of a Task Force was not supported by the Scottish Government.

Debbie Hutchings, Unite regional officer, said: “Unite warmly welcomes the growing support for the creation of an Aviation and Aerospace Task Force following Rolls Royce’s harrowing announcement. It’s vital that the Task Force is immediately established as Neil Bibby MSP is suggesting to deal with the unfolding crisis at Inchinnan.  Unite, in fact, wrote to the First Minister in March demanding the creation of a Task Force but our proposal was not supported. We believe this decision could come back to haunt the Scottish Government.” 

“However, let’s be clear, the ultimate responsibility for this situation lies with Rolls Royce because there is no need to initiate the voluntary severance scheme while the government’s job retention scheme is in place. Unite is also working hard to pressure governments both at a UK and Scottish level to bring forward sector support packages which we believe makes the announcement premature.”