Union to meet Rolls-Royce chief executive over fresh workers' concerns

The Rolls-Royce site in BarnoldswickThe Rolls-Royce site in Barnoldswick
The Rolls-Royce site in Barnoldswick
The union representing workers at Barnoldswick's embattled Rolls-Royce plant is to meet the company's chief executive later this month after concerns were raised by workers.

The Burnley Express revealed yesterday that industrial action was being planned at the site after 17 members of Unite the union voted for it.

Bosses branded the decision "extremely disappointing", and said that Rolls-Royce, like the entire aviation industry, was facing an unprecedented impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. That had led to a significant consolidation of work across the company’s site footprint worldwide

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However, the Burnley Express understands that the decision to vote for industrial action relates to concerns workers have over the commitment of the company to retain a guaranteed minimum headcount of 350 workers, agreed in January.

It appears there is some dispute between the company and the union over the length of time the 350 jobs would be guaranteed for, potentially for just two and a half years, at which point the site would revert to 250 workers.

When the deal was first agreed in January, one of the positive changes highlighted was the creation of a ‘centre of excellence’ training school on the site, supporting the development and manufacturer of zero carbon technologies and advanced manufacturing excellence.

However, workers fear the training school could be demolished in 2024.

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Unite national officer for aerospace Rhys McCarthy said: "Unite has secured a meeting with Rolls-Royce Chief executive officer Warren East later this month.

"It is hoped that this meeting will resolve the concerns that our members have about the future of the Barnoldswick factory."