Rolls-Royce workers unite in car rally

A convoy of cars and a flurry of banners saw workers from Barnoldswick's embattled Rolls-Royce factory unite to send a message of solidarity.
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The rally, organised by the Unite union began at Boundary Mill in Colne, before touring the surrounding area and concluding by driving past the Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick.

The cars were festooned with Unite flags and banners supporting the Barnoldswick workforce, which has seen a number of drastic cuts over the last 12 months, with many jobs being transferred overseas.

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In response to recent strike action, Rolls-Royce has locked out the workforce until the beginning of 2021 and has offshored work, which should be undertaken at the factory during this period, to factories in Japan, Spain and Singapore.

The convoyThe convoy
The convoy

Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “When Rolls-Royce announced the decision to offshore the jet blade work to Singapore in August, Unite warned this would potentially make the site unviable.

"Last week the future viability of the site was thrown into further doubt when it was announced that even more work will be taken from it.

“Rolls-Royce is at the heart of Barnoldswick and has been in the town for nearly 80 years, its departure would be absolutely devastating to the town. What Rolls-Royce is currently doing is a complete betrayal of Barnoldswick.

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“Unite’s view is clear: it does not matter what the exact work is that is being undertaken in Barnoldswick provided that it is long-term skilled work, employing approximately the same number of people currently employed at the site.”