MP asks Government to step in over Rolls-Royce job losses

MP asks Government to step in over Rolls-Royce job losses

By Gareth Dennison | 17/02/2021

MP asks Government to step in over Rolls-Royce job losses

 

SARAH Champion called on the Government to prevent substantial job losses at Rolls-Royce after the company confirmed it would shed a third of its Rotherham jobs.

The Derby-based firm announced a major reorganisation of staff last year due to the unprecedented drop in engine flying hours due to the pandemic.

A planned reduction of 75 roles at the Catcliffe site is part of a squeeze in the global workforce of 9,000 positions — more than 90 per cent of which are in the civil aerospace business.

Rotherham MP Ms Champion said: “The loss of such a sizeable proportion of Rolls-Royce’s Rotherham workforce would be a huge blow to our local economy.

“These are skilled, well paid jobs with a prestige employer. I am deeply alarmed, both for those facing unemployment in the most challenging of circumstances and for the wider impact these redundancies are likely to have across our town and our region.”

She added: “Rolls-Royce has received substantial public money, both before and during the pandemic.


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“I firmly believe that this financial support should be contingent upon protecting UK jobs.

“The Government must use every tool at its disposal to protect jobs that, were it not for the pandemic, would not now be at risk.”

The firm’s £110 million Advanced Blade Casting Facility was opened at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in 2015 and was fully operational two years later.

The first of the 75 to lose their jobs are expected to leave in March.

A source said: “Aviation is in trouble but this is a massive attack. It’s a very worrying time for everyone and it's just going to be a management decision about who they pick.”

A Rolls-Royce spokeswoman said a breakdown of the loss of 420 shop floor roles across the UK civil aerospace sites was given to the affected sites in last January.

She added: “We have been working closely with the trade union to mitigate roles through voluntary severance and redeployment since the beginning of our restructuring activity and will continue to do so following this latest announcement.

“This news will understandably be very worrying for our employees in Rotherham and our number one priority is to provide support to them and their families.”

The application window for voluntary exits has now closed and the firm said it was now looking at potential redeployments — likely to Derby, which could take several weeks.

Ms Champion, who has written to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “If the Government is serious about levelling up, it cannot stand idly by while Rolls-Royce cuts a third of its workforce in my constituency.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Park, where Rolls-Royce is based, is the jewel in the crown of our local economy and has played host to numerous ministerial visits over the years. The Government is well aware of the importance of the facility.”

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