70 jobs face axe at Rolls Royce

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Up to 70 workers face the axe at Hucknall’s iconic Rolls-Royce site.

News of the job losses comes just three months after the blue-chip company shelved its plans to rebuild its sheet metal work facility sparking uncertainty among its workforce.

Community leaders at the time reassured staff as they were convinced of the firm’s commitment to the town.

The major player has confirmed it is in early negotiations with staff at both its Hucknall and Derby sites.

“Rolls-Royce is constantly looking for ways to meet our customer requirements in a cost-effective way,” said a Rolls-Royce spokesman.

“As part of this on-going work, and in order to remain competitive, we are reviewing operational effectiveness in some of our supply chain manufacturing operations in Derby and Hucknall.”

Two businesses within the Hucknall site will be affected - the sheet metal works and ?????????????? but stressed it was early days.

“We are in the early stages of consultation with employee representatives with a view to minimising any potential impact on employment within Rolls-Royce where possible,” added the spokesman.

“As part of this process we will look at opportunities for the redeployment of affected employees and reducing the use of agency workers.”

It is understood that the two businesses included in the ‘operational effectiveness review’ employs agency workers who will be affected by the move - but the company also suggested employees could be in line for change too.

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said he was very disappointed not only with the company’s decision but how it had dealt with the situation.

“I met with the senior men at Rolls-Royce only recently and they assured me the Hucknall site was on course for the future,” said Mr Spencer. “I feel I and the unions, have been totally misled.

“I don’t believe they have kept the workers in the loop with their plans, which is not a professional way to manage a workforce and not good for morale.”

Mr Spencer has a meeting planned with the unions on 31st January and wrote to the firm two weeks ago asking it to clarify its position but as yet Rolls-Royce has failed to respond.

“If they need to change their work model then they have to work with the unions - not keep them in the dark,” added Mr Spencer. “It is not the right way to go.”

Ashfield District Council leader, Coun Chris Baron, said he was ‘flabbergasted’ at the news.

“I am very disappointed,” said Coun Baron. “I understand they are looking at reducing their personnel by 71 of which many are contractors not direct employees.

“It is very unfortunate after the council only recently fast tracked through a planning proposal to rebuild part of their business in Hucknall.

“I believe the order books are full but it takes time before the work is passed down to the operation in Hucknall.

“As soon as I heard about this development I asked council officers to find out what is going on at Rolls-Royce and what the implications will be.”

Coun Baron is set to meet union leaders at the site today (Friday 17th January) to discuss the news further but said ‘the company has still got 100 per cent support from all councils across the district’.