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Fighting for jobs news letter 2

Newsletter #2

Fighting for UK Jobs (Again)
20th May 2020

1 Response to Company Announcement

The Company promised to provide details around the restructuring by the end of this month.

They have failed.

What was announced earlier today was insulting: high-level figures ‘to be confirmed’ with no indication of where or when these may happen.

We have previously communicated we will be honest and share with you all the information we are provided. The following figures were shared with the National Negotiating Trade Union Group on the 19th May 2020.

2020 2021 2020
Area Global UK
Directs 3000 1200 2150
Indirect 900 400 425
Engineering 1100 900 800
Total 5000 2500-3000 3375

We specifically and repeatedly asked for clarity around the numbers for 2020 and 2021, plus site impacts including potential closures. To date we have not received any clarity whatsoever.

Yet again British facilities will bear the brunt of this restructuring. We are constantly told we are a Global business when it comes to investment and offshoring, yet when times are difficult it’s always the British workforce that suffers disproportionately. This is a scandal given how many millions of UK taxpayer pounds have been granted to the Company over the years.

Not content with cutting an imprecise number of jobs in areas ‘to be determined’, they have also told us they are ‘serving notice’ on all existing Union agreements on redundancy and restructuring. These binding agreements have been negotiated over many years and provide clarity, protection to employees and prevent disruption to the Company and its customers. They cover fundamentally important aspects including the terms of redundancy pay, the timescales involved, and the selection criteria to be used.

They also want to impose changes to “a raft of reward/benefit arrangements including our contractual and collective agreements” and “commence consultation on a strategic review of the Defined Benefit pension scheme”!

We recognise the global effect upon our industry and acknowledge there are going to be job reductions, but attacking long-standing agreements and terms and conditions is disgraceful opportunism, unrelated to a downturn in workload.
Although the job reductions are predominantly going to be in Civil Aero, these attacks will mean every single part of our Company is affected – including Defence Aero and Nuclear.

The Trade Union made it clear that we are here to negotiate with them, not just be provided information so they can tick the ‘consultation’ box. If they continue with this approach, we will have no alternative but to plan strategic disruption across the business.

2 COVID 19 H&S

Remembering that most of our facilities were dangerous and were only temporarily shut down due to TU insistence, it is now our strong belief the Company wanted to keep all facilities open in order to clear any work in progress, rather than protect the safety of their employees our members.

The latest Company Health & Safety policy on COVID has not been agreed by the National Negotiating Group. They seem to think it is now acceptable for some areas to disregard the 2-metre/15-minute distancing rule. This is totally unacceptable.

We will shortly circulate our own H&S guidance which members will be instructed to follow.

3 Lobby Activity

The RR National Trade Union group have been coordinating lobbying activities with the National Unions for the whole of the Aviation industry. In the next few weeks this will become more Rolls Royce focused at a regional level.

4 Bonuses & Shares

We are still awaiting details of the bonuses paid to Senior Management in March. By law they have until 30th June 2020 to declare this information. We expect these figures to shed light on why they declined to stop the payments when asked by the Trade Union.

5 Furlough

The government furlough scheme was set up to prevent companies from laying off workers. We still can’t understand why the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has not been maximised throughout the Company. This would buy the Company and the Trade Union more time to deal with challenges we face in our industry

It is disappointing but not a surprise that the agreed set of principles on the application of furlough, including rotation, have been ignored in some areas where management seem to think they can dictate what happens, when and to whom without any consultation.

We are still in protracted negotiations concerning the criteria for shift changes and its associated impact on pay, if we reach agreement we will communicate accordingly. Until we have reached agreement and communicated with you, there should be no change to your shift arrangements and pay.

The Trade union will seek further discussions on an extension to phase 2 of the furlough arrangements.

6 Next steps

We do not wish to be on a collision course with the Company at this difficult time, we will remain pragmatic and professional, but if their actions are disproportionate and unreasonable we will do whatever it takes to fight for our members interests.

Again, we are committed to providing you with regular, factual, updates of our discussions and will provide further detail on each of the subject headings above in future bitesize communications.

All our communications can be seen using the following Link
Thank you for your continued support.

Steve Hibbert Ian Wilson
Tam Mitchell Mark Porter
Ian Bestwick Steve Jones
Mahf Khan Stuart Hedley
Ian Hodgkison Ian Clarke

Posted: 22nd May 2020

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