'Rolls-Royce is at the heart of Barnoldswick'

Car rally to be held in support of striking Barnoldswick Rolls-Royce workers

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Striking workers and the local community will come together on Saturday (December 5) to hold a car rally in support of the Rolls-Royce workers at Barnoldswick who have been on strike since last month to secure the factory’s future.

The car rally will begin at 10.30am at the Boundary Mill retail outlet in Colne, and it will then tour the surrounding area before concluding by driving past the Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick.

The cars taking part will be festooned with Unite flags and banners supporting the Barnoldswick workforce. It is expected that the rally will take between 45 minutes and an hour to complete its planned route.

Members of Unite began targeted strike action last month in response to the decision of Rolls-Royce to offshore the work undertaken at Barnoldswick on Trent jet engine blades to Singapore. The strike action will continue until Christmas Eve.

In a further severe blow to the future viability of the factory Rolls-Royce announced on Thursday (December 3) that it was preparing to offshore additional work from the factory to Spain, resulting in further job losses.

In response to the strike action Rolls-Royce has locked out the workforce until the beginning of 2021 and has offshored work, which should be undertake at the factory during this period, to factories in Japan, Spain and Singapore.

Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said, “Workers and the local community will come together to stage a car rally round Barnoldswick and the local area to show their support for all those involved in the Battle of Barnoldswick.

“We are urging everyone who is able to attend to join the car rally and show their support.

“If you can’t join then if you see the car rally please wave, clap or beep your horn to show your support,” he added.

“When Rolls-Royce announced the decision to offshore the jet blade work to Singapore in August, Unite warned this would potentially make the site unviable.

“This week the future viability of the site was thrown into further doubt when it was announced that even more work will be taken from it,” Quinn continued.

“Rolls-Royce is at the heart of Barnoldswick and has been in the town for nearly 80 years, its departure would be absolutely devastating to the town. What Rolls-Royce is currently doing is a complete betrayal of Barnoldswick.

“Unite’s view is clear: it does not matter what the exact work is that is being undertaken in Barnoldswick provided that it is long-term skilled work, employing approximately the same number of people currently employed at the site.”

By Barckley Sumner

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