Rolls-Royce factory in Bristol escapes 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 has announced that it is axing 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 which is largely based around defence 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.
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However, 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 Unite union has claimed that Rolls-Royce is planning to shut the plant within the next few years.
Rolls-Royce released a statement following the claims by unions. He said: "We are in consultation with trade unions over reductions in our defence workforce at Ansty. We hope to achieve this without compulsory redundancies.
"Ansty also conducts civil aerospace business which is not affected. In a large and complex company there is a continuing need to align resource and customer demand. Overall group employment at Rolls-Royce remains fairly constant."
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."
Mr Waddell added that "work from Germany will be transferred to Rolls-Royce's site at Bristol".
He said bosses at Rolls-Royce had acted fairly by giving as much notice as possible to the staff of the company's plans.
Rolls-Royce employs around 3,000 staff at its Patchway site and just under 2,000 of those are involved in working on defence projects.