Workers at Rolls Royce’s plant in Barnoldswick are considering a proposal from their employer which could end a weeks-long strike at the factory.
Unite suspended its latest strikes, which began on 4 January and were due to continue until 22 January, when the offer was received. The union has described the offer as a “landmark deal”.
350 jobs at the Barnoldswick site were threatened by Rolls Royce’s plan to offshore the factory’s work to countries including Singapore. The cuts are part of a wider tranche of job cuts planned by Rolls Royce, totalling 9,000.
Unite says the employer’s offer would “save 350 jobs and give the site a bright future”, and that it has the “unanimous backing of the plant committee, the shop stewards and convenors.” If the offer is accepted, Unite says it would give the Barnoldswick plant “a new lease of life as the company’s centre of training and excellence and cement Rolls-Royce as a key player in green and emerging technologies.”
Barnoldswick workers were due to meet in the week beginning 11 January to discuss whether to accept the proposal. Their strike has been one of the most determined expressions of resistance to bosses’ attempts to use the pandemic as a pretext for cutting jobs. Should a deal that prevents job cuts be secured, it would represent a significant and inspiring victory.