Rolls Royce urged to avoid short-term action that will hamper the business and economy

Published:  18 May, 2020

Responding to the news that Rolls Royce is looking to cut up to 8000 UK jobs, the country’s leading manufacturing union, Unite, called for the company to `hold firm’ and avoid short-term action which could hamper its emergence from the COVID-19 crisis.

The union is urging Rolls Royce and other manufacturing companies to avoid `knee-jerk’ reactions and instead work with Unite and the government to develop the industrial strategy that will develop and deliver the jobs of tomorrow.

Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing, said: “We say to Rolls Royce today, step back from drastic, short-term responses and work with us to shape a positive future for a world class business, our highly skilled workforce and our communities. Help us to deliver a government led industrial strategy to build our way out of this crisis and meet the challenges of the future.

“These are unprecedented times. We understand the challenges to our industries from COVID-19 and the impact of government measures to protect public health on both the immediate and longer-term outlook for manufacturing as well as the wider economy.

“However, at a time when we are working hard to protect jobs and businesses through this pandemic with pay protection, government loans and other industry specific packages backed by the Bank of England, right now we are asking Rolls-Royce, along with others across manufacturing, to hold firm and defer from shortterm reactions that will both damage the economy and undermine our ability to emerge from this with job security and consumer confidence intact.

“Our economy is changing and our manufacturing sector has to be in a fit shape to rise to these challenges. The demands of climate change and major public infrastructure projects will require engineering solutions and UK manufacturers stepping up and diversifying production to meet national demands.

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