Socialist Worker

Devastation as thousands of workers are sacked

Issue No. 1772

THOUSANDS OF workers at Rolls-Royce aero engine plants around the country were shocked last week when the firm announced 5,000 job losses. Some 3,800 of the job cuts will be in Britain, the bulk of them at the firm's Derby plant.

The company blames the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in the US. Workers and union officials are suspicious of that claim. 'We're all well and truly fed up. These cuts have been on the cards for a long time,' said a worker at the firm's Hillingdon plant near Glasgow. 'What's happened in the US is just an excuse. This was happening well before last month, and we all know that.'

The impact of the job cuts will be devastating. One Derby worker said, 'A lot of families work here, and this could see whole families being out of work at once.' Rolls-Royce shares jumped up on the stock market in the wake of the job cuts. The workers are the people who made the firm's huge profits-£190 million in the first half of this year. Those profits should be used to keep workers in jobs. If that does not happen the New Labour government should nationalise Rolls-Royce-just like a Tory government did in the early 1970s.

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Sat 27 Oct 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1772
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