Rolls-Royce to knock 2000 off the payroll – UPDATED

Posted on 20 Nov 2008 by The Manufacturer

Iconic British engineering firm Rolls-Royce is to trim its aircraft-engine staff by 2000 members next year after production schedules were hit by delays from partnering firms.

Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce’s chief executive said Rolls are “determined to maintain our focus on cost reduction and competitiveness as the world economy enters a challenging period.”

The company employs 39,000 people around the world, 60 per cent of which are based here in the UK. It did not specify in its announcement where the cuts will be suffered.

However, an additional 140 positions are under threat at Rolls’ Derby-based assembly and test facility.

The firm said the move comes as a result of “reviewing the possible impact of current economic uncertainties, delays on individual programmes, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787, and the benefits of the group’s continuing focus on efficiency.”

Rolls said it was announcing the cuts early in order to keep its plans transparent and to allow staff to make a choice about whether they go or stay. It operated a similar policy this year whereby, when announcing a similar number of cuts last January, it said the cuts will be achieved by reducing temporary staff, offering voluntary redundancies and not replacing employees that leave under normal circumstances.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was supposed to take its maiden flight in the third quarter of this year but the date has now been pushed back to this year. This is because industrial action by staff and reported efficiency issues have crippled production schedules.

*** is reporting that it expects as many as 600 of the job losses to be incurred at the Derby plant.

The website quotes Mick Lomax, joint chief negotiator for Unite at the plant as saying: “It is our gut feeling that this is only the first of a number of announcements that will be made in the next few weeks.

“The latest cuts affect workers in the assembly and test facility – but we believe jobs could go in other areas of the site.”