Patchway staff escape cuts
WORKERS at Rolls-Royce's factory in Patchway are breathing a sigh of relief after it emerged they will not be affected by job cuts at the firm.
The engineering company announced it is cutting around 400 jobs in its defence division as a result of Government spending cuts.
Fears were immediately raised that the cuts could affect the firm's operation in Bristol, largely based around defence and marine work.
The unions were initially claiming that work could move abroad but bosses at Rolls-Royce moved to reassure the 3,000 workers in South Gloucestershire they will not be affected by the cuts.
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But it emerged that more work will be coming to Bristol as a result of the review with a contract being transferred from a factory in Germany.
The brunt of the cuts will come at the firm's factory in Ansty, near Coventry, where an estimated 378 posts are to likely to be axed.
The jobs will be lost or relocated over several years as defence contracts are progressively run down at the unions have claimed.
The move is also being seen as a boost for the Bristol plant, one of the most modern and advanced in the country. Just under £75 million was spent on upgrading the factory three years ago.
It is also understood that Patchway, which employs more than 3,500 people, will benefit from work transferred from a Rolls-Royce site in Dahlewitz in Germany.
Ian Waddell, Unite's national officer for aerospace and shipbuilding, said: "The blame for the loss of these highly skilled jobs in the key defence sector lies with the Government and its short-sighted determination to ram through massive spending cuts in the defence budget.
"Once again, Unite calls for a coherent defence industrial strategy to be drawn up as matter of urgency to safeguard jobs and a defence industry at which Britain excels. This is vital - otherwise more high-skilled jobs will be lost, perhaps forever.
"There is a very long timescale for consultation and implementation, so we hope that compulsory redundancies will be avoided."
He said bosses at Rolls-Royce had acted fairly by giving as much notice as possible to the staff of the company's plans.