ROLLS-ROYCE workers past and present have spoken out on just how important the historic firm is to their livelihoods and to the prosperity of the region as strikes in a bid to save jobs continue.

Employees at the Barnoldswick plant have been striking in opposition to the firm’s plans to cut 350 jobs as part of an off-shoring move since November 6, and have just announced that their action is set to continue up to Christmas Eve.

Generations of families have worked at the plant, the loss of which would be a devastating blow for the entire community, and workers have used the opportunity to say just how much the famous firm has meant to them.

Plant inspector Abi Pearson said: “I think its quite common for families to work at Barnoldswick.

"My dad worked at Rolls-Royce and has just retired after 40 years of working there, and for me that’s made me want to make him proud as well.

“I know how much Rolls has meant to my dad, it has given him a fantastic career for 40 years which is brilliant.”

Speaking on the potential job losses she added: “I feel in some ways it's like a betrayal, when people have worked really hard.”

Fan blade polisher Leo Platt is another employee who has followed in previous generations’ footsteps.

He said: “I followed a family tradition really, joining Rolls-Royce.

"My grandfather worked at Rolls-Royce in the Sixties, my dad in the Eighties.

“My fan blades have been made there, my father’s and my grandfather’s if you’re going back far enough so there’s a real pride there.”

He added: “I’ve got three daughters myself and I would love to see them given the opportunity to work at Rolls-Royce to continue the tradition that my family has got.

“My message to the seniors would be to reconsider these proposals to take away the fan blade production from Barnoldswick.”

The workers have been boosted by the support of local politicians, ranging deputy leader of Pendle Borough Council David Whipp, to Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves, while East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has also condemned the proposed off shoring move.

Councillor Whipp, who has family members who have worked for the company, said: “Pendle is a borough of small and medium sized enterprises, we have probably 3000 in Pendle and a lot of them are here because Rolls-Royce is here.

“The expertise that has been built up over the generations has been put to other uses as well as the supply chain.

“We risk losing that impetus and that enterprise from the whole of Pendle and beyond.”

Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “The striking workers have the full support of their community and will not rest until Rolls-Royce reverses these profoundly damaging plans, which, if enacted, will sound the death knell for nearly eight decades of Rolls-Royce manufacturing in Barnoldswick.” 

Watch the film produced by Unite the Union here: