2nd Jul, 2022

MPs call for more support for Rolls Royce Coventry workers as firm cuts jobs

John Carlon 4th Aug, 2020

LOOMING job cuts at Rolls Royce have led to calls for government to intervene from two Coventry MPs.

Zarah Sultana and Taiwo Owatemi visited Rolls Royce’s plant at Ansty, just outside Coventry, to speak with workers affected by proposed redundancies at the engineering firm.

Rolls Royce has announced plans to cut 9000 jobs globally, including thousands in the UK, plus an additional 3000 job cuts expected in 2021.

A recent trading update revealed orders had dropped by over £1 billion during the coronavirus pandemic.

Engine flying hours with Rolls Royce products have fallen by 75 per cent, as planes stay grounded.

With 65 jobs under threat at Ansty, Ms Sultana, MP for Coventry South, has written to the chancellor Rishi Sunak to request increased support for the aviation industry.

Her letter to Mr Sunak calls for the government to extend the coronavirus furlough scheme, which is being wound down from this month; a “rapid expansion of Government investment in green technologies to ensure a just transition to carbon neutrality”; the reshoring of Rolls Royce’s supply chains; and a lifelong program for manufacturing apprenticeships.

Ms Sultana’s letter follows previous letters and calls she has made to the Government to save manufacturing jobs in Coventry. On June 8, Ms Sultana wrote to the Chancellor with Taiwo Owatemi MP calling on him to intervene to prevent redundancies and on 1 July, Ms Sultana spoke in the House of Commons, calling on the Government to “harness the skills and industry we have in Coventry to once again make the city a world-leader in the automotive industry, but now building the electric cars of the future.”

Following her visit to Rolls Royce, Ms Sultana said: “Coventry is on course to be hit by a wave of job losses in the next few months, which will intensify if the furlough scheme is wound-down as planned. The Government must not sit on the sidelines: It has to step-up, protect livelihoods and these highly skilled jobs. There can be no return to the unemployment levels we saw in the 1980s.

“Workers at the Ansty plant are understandably worried about their future. I’m calling on the Government to work with Unite the Union to save these jobs and invest in our region to make Coventry a world-leader in the green technologies of the future.”

In July, Rolls Royce said around 3000 workers had shown interest in voluntary redundancy, with the company looking for their departures in September.

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