Unite: Rolls Royce investment and jobs deal “good day for British manufacturing that must not be undone by a botched Brexit”

Following a deal between Unite and Rolls Royce to protect 7,000 UK engineering jobs as part of £150m investment, the union has called on the government to “play its part by pursuing a jobs first Brexit”.

The Unite-brokered agreement means Rolls Royce has pledged to safeguard work for almost a third of it 22,300 UK employees.

The investment is Rolls Royce’s largest in more than ten years and is part of a plan to double the number of engines the firm manufactures.

The company has scrapped plans to close a precision machining site in Derby – securing 150 at risk jobs in the process – and instead will create an extra 200 roles by building a £90m jet engine testing facility in the city.

Unite had been campaigning for a new large engine test bed to be built in the UK to develop the next generation of aircraft engines.

As part of the £150m investment the union has signed a job security agreement which means there will be no compulsory redundancies at the engineering giant’s three East Midland sites for the next five years.

Potentially leading to further investment, which is expected to be worth several hundreds of millions of pounds across the whole of Rolls-Royce’s UK operations, the firm’s announcement effectively secures the firms British manufacturing base for the next 20 years, along with 7,000 high quality jobs, Unite said.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey added: “This is great news for a world beating workforce making world class engines and testament to the hard work of Unite’s shop stewards and members.”

“It is a good day for British manufacturing that must not be undone by a botched Brexit.

“The government must now play its part by pursuing a ‘jobs first’ Brexit and securing tariff-free access to the single market and customs union.

“A failure to do so, risks future investment and decent high quality manufacturing jobs.”