ANOTHER 140 jobs are at risk at aero-engine giant Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick, it has been revealed.

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.

But now, company bosses held an urgent meeting on Thursday morning with staff about a consultation plan to move their structures facility to ITP Aero in Spain.

It could mean that 140 more jobs could be lost from the site.

Company bosses say they have been ‘severely impacted’ by the pandemic and reduction in demand from airlines.

A spokesman for Rolls-Royce said: “We are proposing to consolidate the manufacture of aero-engine structures into ITP Aero. ITP Aero, currently undergoing its own restructuring, offers a more cost competitive option than our existing structures facility in Barnoldswick. We are commencing consultation on a proposal to close the structures facility on the site.

“While this will be hugely upsetting news for our colleagues in Barnoldswick, this does not mean we are closing our Barnoldswick site. Following our proposal in August to relocate part of our fan blade manufacturing, Barnoldswick will be the home of a product development and technical support centre for wide chord fan blades and continue to manufacture blades for a range of defence and civil aerospace applications.

Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace, has said: “I understand that the announcement will be hugely upsetting for our colleagues in Barnoldswick.

“This is a very difficult proposal to make, but we cannot afford to retain every Rolls-Royce factory that was supported by demand that has been dramatically reduced by the pandemic.

“No government support scheme can replace sustainable customer demand and no government can sign-up to extending the sort of short-term measures we have been very grateful for, over multiple years.”

Cllr David Whipp, deputy leader of Pendle Council said: “This news means we are looking at nearly 500 job losses in Barnoldswick which will have wider impacts on the economy as two years ago Rolls-Royce said that it creates £1bn for the economy in the North West.

“It is incomprehensible to see the losses of industry of this type since we lost King Cotton many years ago.

“It is a dreadful blow to the area and will be demoralising news before Christmas.”

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said: “Rolls-Royce’s timing of the latest round of job losses stinks, workers have been left fearing for their futures as Christmas approaches.

“This announcement amounts to a death by a thousand cuts will send a chill through Rolls-Royce’s workers and the entire supply chain.

“Choking the company’s future like this is clearly about pacifying the city and shareholders in the short term.

“Unite will be arguing that the decision to make apprentices redundant must be reversed, they are the future life blood of the company and their loss will affect the long-term success of Rolls-Royce."

Andrew Stephenson MP for Pendle said; “On Monday I met with again with the CEO of Rolls-Royce Warren East. I asked Warren directly about rumours further work would be transferred from the site, for example to ITP in Spain which they intend to sell off, but he dodged the question. Sadly today's announcement proves those rumours were true.

“I applaud the strikers and all those who are doing what they can to attract attention to the shameful way workers at the Barnoldswick sites are being treated. Given the huge amount of financial support being provided to Rolls Royce by the UK government it is outrageous for them to treat local workers so disgracefully.”