Rolls workers vote in favour of unpaid work

Rolls-Royce, Bankfield site Barnoldswick.'Photo Ben Parsons
Rolls-Royce, Bankfield site Barnoldswick.'Photo Ben Parsons
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Staff at Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick have voted overwhelmingly in favour of working two hours a week unpaid in a bid to save colleagues’ jobs.

The proposal put forward by Unite is aiming to avoid compulsory redundancies being made to shop floor workers at the company’s Bankfield and Ghyll Brow sites.

Employees who work 37 hours a week were being asked to accept the proposal where they would be paid for 35 of those hours for a six month period.

After several meetings last week, 90% of the 770-strong workforce voted in favour of the change.

The move will also see the workforce able to amass two hours of holiday a week which could be taken unpaid in blocks.

In April, a further 81 shop floor job losses were announced to be made at the Barnoldswick sites, adding to the 40 jobs announced in December to go from Barlick as part of a 2,600 worldwide reduction.

Eleven management roles have also been identified to get the axe at Barnoldswick after a restructuring process.

However, 69 of those 121 shop floor roles are to be voluntary redundancies, and it is hoped after this workforce vote that the remaining 52 roles will be safe in the long run.

Jon Brough, Unite’s convenor at Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick, said: “It’s been quite successful. It has been very well supported by the workforce to take a cut in pay in support of their colleagues and themselves for that matter.

“It gives us that breathing space to try and get more work into the sites or perhaps to bring some work forward.

“Some have been saying ‘are we not just prolonging the pain?’

“But we have taken the view that things could change and we think it is worth a go.”