STRIKING Rolls-Royce workers have been boosted by the support of more than 100 MPs and peers who have put their names to a pledge of support for their action.

The workers have been on strike since November and have recently announced that industrial action will be extended to Christmas Eve in opposition to the company’s plans to cut 350 jobs as part of an offshoring move.

Unite the Union says that they have received the support of both Labour and Conservative politicians while Liberal Democrats such as Pendle Councillor David Whipp and peer Lord Tony Greaves have also voiced their support.

Labour MP and chair of the Unite parliamentary group Grahame Morris said: “They are fighting to save highly skilled engineering jobs, and potentially the site itself.

“It is appalling that the company has left them with no other option but to take strike action, despite the huge effort that Unite the Union has made to work constructively with Rolls-Royce to cope with the impact of Covid-19.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The company has pressed ahead with plans to move production of aeroplane fan blades from Lancashire to Singapore despite having received taxpayer funding to help blunt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Morris said: “It is particularly galling that Rolls-Royce is seeking to benefit from billions of pounds of taxpayer support yet refuses to use this taxpayer-funded lifeline to keep valuable jobs in the UK.

“It is also appalling that Rolls-Royce has broken the promise it made to protect Barnoldswick when workers from the site helped set up the company’s aerospace footprint in Singapore.

“It is nothing less than a complete betrayal of a loyal and dedicated workforce by Rolls-Royce and will only serve to further tarnish this iconic British brand.”

The union says that it is lobbying the government to make any further support Rolls-Royce receives conditional on keeping jobs in the UK.

Unite regional secretary Ross Quinn said: “Rolls-Royce is behaving appallingly and should hang its head in shame.

“These highly skilled jobs are more crucial than ever and for them to be shipped abroad will be devastating for the 350 workers and their families, Barnoldswick and the UK’s manufacturing base as a whole.

“To do so while taking government handouts meant to sustain the nation’s economy through the pandemic is beyond the pale.”