Socialist Worker

Anger at Rolls Royce's plan to shut historic East Kilbride factory

by a Rolls Royce worker, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
Issue No. 2316

East Kilbride was built around the Rolls Royce factory 60 years ago

East Kilbride was built around the Rolls Royce factory 60 years ago

Rolls Royce announced plans to shut down its East Kilbride plant last Thursday.

The closure means hundreds of jobs transferring to the company’s Inchinnan site in Paisley on the opposite side of Glasgow.

Workers at the factory are angry and up in arms. East Kilbride was built around the Rolls Royce plant, from a little village 60 years ago to the town it is today.

At its highpoint the factory employed well over 2,500 workers.

The workforce, now down to 600, faces a choice between unreasonable transfer or possible redundancy. Our plant is profitable, as is the company—Rolls Royce plc recently announced half yearly pre tax profits of £637 million. Yet we are rewarded by being uprooted from our home town.

In 2004 Rolls Royce announced a new plant would be built up in Langlands area of East Kilbride to replace our ageing factory. Bosses took millions of pounds of public money to prepare the site, only to pull out of the venture two years later. Our plant then lost almost 350 workers through redundancies in 2009 and 2010.

Rolls Royce managers want us to follow in the wake of other victims of irresponsible capitalism in East Kilbride—workers at Freescale, Baker Oil, JVC and many more.

But workers are questioning all aspects of this planned move through their trade union representatives. They want to know if alternative site locations had ever been considered, or whether the real decisions have already been made and the current consultations are just the company going through the motions.

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Article information

Sat 18 Aug 2012, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2316
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