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Anger over jobs axe

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Issue 1723

Rolls Royce Aerospace

Anger over jobs axe

ANGRY ROLLS Royce workers are threatening action over aerospace bosses’ decision to axe 1,300 jobs. Rolls’s plans include moving its turbine operations to Montreal in Canada, which will hit the Ansty plant in Coventry. A mass meeting of 700 Rolls Royce workers at Ansty on Monday of this week reacted angrily to the threat to jobs.

They voted unanimously to ballot now for action short of a strike and not to cooperate with any transfer of work. And they voted unanimously for a strike ballot if Rolls pushes ahead with its plans. Senior MSF rep Vince Butler says, “Globalisation is the second blitz of Coventry and threatens the whole locality.”

Another rep says, “We have had hundreds of messages of support since the news was announced last week, including from workers in Montreal. They pledged to back our fight and to do anything they can to help. We also had messages of support from Rover shop stewards and from Shorts in Belfast. These messages went down a storm at the meeting. The feeling was amazing. People are very angry. They know the company makes a lot of profit. Everyone is saying this is just some accountants’ decision.”

Three of the four divisions of the Ansty site face the axe, including 600 engineering research jobs and 50 jobs in the marine division which Rolls wants to concentrate in Bristol. This will also hit the Derby plant. A further 650 Ansty workers’ jobs in aerospace manufacture are “under review” and could be outsourced. Union officials say a total of 5,000 jobs could be axed over the next three years. That is one eighth of the 40,000-strong workforce But union organisation at Rolls is strong and other Rolls plants have already pledged support for Coventry. This attack can be beaten completely if workers mobilise their full strength.

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