Rolls-Royce was urged this evening (November 5) to make full use of the chancellor’s extension of the furlough scheme until the end of March to safeguard jobs at what is one of the jewels of British manufacturing.
Unite called on Rolls-Royce to fully utilise the extension of the furlough scheme until March 2021 – outlined earlier today by chancellor Rishi Sunak – as the company announced nearly 1,400 jobs are being cut in the UK and globally.
The job losses announced today are part of the company’s plan to slash its worldwide workforce by 9,000 which was announced in May this year, of which about 3,300 were earmarked for the UK.
Unite understands that the job losses could affect 650 managers, 100 staff and 420 production workers and is seeking urgent clarification on how many jobs are under threat in the UK and how many in the rest of the world.
Unite national officer for aerospace Rhys McCarthy said, “We are calling on the Rolls-Royce management to halt its job loss programme in the UK, while it fully considers the implications of the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of March 2021 that chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled to MPs earlier today.
“Rolls-Royce is one of the foremost jewels in the UK’s manufacturing crown and we must all strive to ensure that this world leader in engine-making maintains its highly skilled workforce, so the company is ready for the challenges of the post-pandemic economy,” he added.
“We can’t afford, as a country, to lose skilled manufacturing jobs as they will generate the prosperity for the benefit of all in the years to come.
“Unite continues to work closely and constructively with the Rolls-Royce management during this very difficult time for the UK economy which has been rocked by Covid-19,” McCarthy went on to say.
“We are giving maximum support to our members during this uncertain period with Christmas on the horizon.”
The group employs 15,700 civil aerospace staff in the UK, with the division headquartered in Derby and other main locations including Bristol, Solihull and Heathrow. Rolls-Royce announced a £2bn investor cash call in October to shore up its balance sheet as the pandemic continues to severely hit the aviation sector.
By Shaun Noble