Rolls-Royce 94% ‘YES’ for strike! – after threat to move entire operation to Singapore

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Rolls-Royce workers demonstrate in defence of jobs

WORKERS at the historic Rolls-Royce plant in Barnoldswick have voted 94% ‘YES’ for strike action in opposition to plans to move the site to Singapore.

The company first announced the plans in August this year, which will result in the loss of 350 local jobs.

The threat to the plant has united the local community in a campaign to save the factory, with widespread support for the campaign coming from community groups, local businesses and the population of the town.

Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: ‘The Rolls-Royce workers at Barnoldswick have given a resounding yes vote in favour of industrial action, as they are not prepared to see their jobs offshored.

‘The entire town is firmly behind them – Barnoldswick was the birthplace of the jet engine. Rolls-Royce has been the principal employer for nearly 70 years, and they are not prepared to let that disappear without a fight.

‘Following Unite’s clear mandate for industrial action we are now giving Rolls-Royce the chance to reflect and return to the negotiating table to provide firm commitments to preserve highly skilled work at Barnoldswick.’

The union has now given Rolls-Royce a 96-hour deadline to withdraw the plans to move the plant to Singapore or they will serve notice of their intent to strike.

Quinn said: ‘If they fail to take this opportunity to promote industrial harmony than the membership will be left with no alternative but to take action.’

Rolls-Royce is currently seeking £5 billion worth of investment in the form of a £2 billion rights issues, £2 billion worth of bonds and support from the UK government totalling £1 billion.

Meanwhile, furloughed Jaguar Land Rover workers fear being sacked by Christmas after the carmaker implemented a voluntary redundancy scheme.

Up to 200 salaried and management staff have been offered the R-Programme, including workers in Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

The redundancy scheme will affect less than one per cent of JLR’s 32,000 workers across the country.

In April, the news broke that 20,000 JLR workers had been placed on furlough. The luxury vehicle manufacturer confirmed that figure now stands at 3,000 furloughed staff with sites not fully yet back up to full capacity.

JLR was hit by a 42 per cent sales fall amid the coronavirus crisis in figures released from April to the end of June.