A VOTE has reportedly been taken for further strikes at East Lancashire’s historic Rolls-Royce plant.

According to the company, 17 members of the Unite union at the Barnoldswick factory have voted to strike amid ongoing concerns over job cuts.

The union however says that it still hopes to resolve any potential dispute and has not as yet named upcoming strike dates.

Unite national officer for aerospace Rhys McCarthy said: "Unite has secured a meeting with Rolls-Royce Chief executive officer Warren East later this month.

"It is hoped that this meeting will resolve the concerns that our members have about the future of the Barnoldswick factory."

The historic Rolls-Royce plant had been at the centre of a long running dispute last Winter as a result of the firm's plans to move production of aerospace fans to Singapor, which would have meant the loss of around 350 local jobs.

The resulting strike began in November 2020 and lasted until a deal was reached in January 2021 which both the union leadership and management at the time claimed could save the threatened jobs and transform the plant into a "centre of training and excellence."

Speaking at the time, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: "This plant has a great history but it now has a bright future thanks to the courage and determination of these workers and the support of their friends and neighbours."

He added: "It can look forward to celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2023, safe in the knowledge that it will play a leading role in Rolls-Royce as it repositions itself to be a key player in green manufacturing."

However, nearly six months on from the agreement, renewed concerns about the future of the factory have once again lead a section of the workforce to vote for strike action.

Company management however have expressed their disappointment at this turn of events and say that they hope to secure the cooperation of everyone on the site in supporting a plan to preserve jobs.

Rolls-Royce director of operations for civil aerospace Sebastian Resch said: "This vote is extremely disappointing, given the commitments given by both the company and union representatives to develop a plan that will preserve Barnoldswick through the devastating industrial impact of Covid-19.

"We will continue to engage in meaningful dialogue with trade union representatives to ensure both sides meet their commitments, to invest in the site, and also to deliver the productivity and efficiency improvements that are essential to secure Barnoldswick’s future."