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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 June 2018

4,000 Rolls-Royce jobs at risk: unions must start campaigning now

Rolls-Royce is rumoured to be cutting more jobs in its Derby plant, photo by USAF/Rick-Goodfriend/CC

Rolls-Royce is rumoured to be cutting more jobs in its Derby plant, photo by USAF/Rick-Goodfriend/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Charlie Taylor, Derby Socialist Party

Press leaks suggest Rolls-Royce in Derby is set to announce another 4,000 job losses. This follows 5,500 jobs already cut at Rolls-Royce over the last three years.

Alongside the ongoing cuts to council jobs and services this will have a devastating effect on workers and their families.

Derby has seen the demise of tens of thousands of skilled jobs over several decades, particularly in the rail industry. These latest proposals must be fought.

Rolls-Royce is a profitable company and this is nothing more than cutting staff to increase profits even more.

The company says the losses will not affect frontline engineering jobs, after striking an agreement with unions last year to protect 7,000 jobs. This is clearly an attempt to split the workforce. Any action to fight the losses must include the whole workforce.

The unions must act now! Immediate meetings of the entire workforce should be organised to discuss how to fight the proposed losses.

When Bombardier was under threat in 2010, the unions organised a march of thousands through Derby. This should happen again. It will raise the confidence of workers to take further action if the company does not back down.

A march would be the start, and would also bring the whole community together, raising the confidence to fight all cuts in Derby - not just at Rolls-Royce.

Unions and the Labour leadership should demand the renationalisation of Rolls-Royce - even Ted Heath's Tory government carried this out in 1971.

But this time it should be with compensation only the basis of proven need, under democratic workers' control and management, as part of a plan to keep it permanently publicly owned.

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