Shadow minister fighting for jobs

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Senior Labour MP Chukka Umunna has vowed to fight to protect jobs at Rolls-Royce in Hucknall and has promised front-bench support for campaigns.

The Shadow Business Secretary made the vow in a phone call with Rolls-Royce workers and Léonie Mathers, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate.

Ms Mathers said she stepped up the fight to protect jobs in the area after worried employees got in touch with her when the company announced that it was planning to cut about 2,600 jobs and priobably close sites in the UK.

She said that during the call, concerns were raised about the company’s commitment to the Hucknall site, and to the UK and Mr Umunna pledged to raise the issues at a national level and press Government ministers to do more to safeguard local jobs.

Up to 16 of the redundancies will be at the Watnall Road site, cuts that follow 70 redundancies earlier this year.

Mr Umunna told the Dispatch: “We need to see more high-skilled jobs, not see them being lost.

“Ministers should be rolling up their sleeves to protect these manufacturing jobs and Léonie is raising important issues on what more the government should be doing and the action we need to see.

“In Parliament myself and my front-bench colleagues will be continuing to work very closely alongside Léonie and supporting her campaign to save these vital jobs.”

Ms Mathers said: “The Rolls-Royce facility is set to be a key anchor for the development of a Science and Engineering Park on the Watnall Road site, which has been provisionally awarded £5.8million of government grants through the regional development body D2N2.

“It’s just not good enough for this Government to hand over taxpayers money without getting guarantees that the company will still be investing in good jobs locally.”