News

Rolls-Royce's Defence Business In UK And US Unaffected By Job Cuts

The company has announced it plans to cut at least 9,000 jobs amid a drop in demand for its products.

Rolls-Royce has announced its defence business in the UK and US will not be affected by planned job cuts.

It comes after the company announced it aims to cut at least 9,000 jobs worldwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The aerospace giant said the defence side of the firm has been "robust" throughout the crisis.

The company has announced a major reorganisation of its business as demand for aircraft, and the engines it manufactures, slump across the globe during the pandemic.

The Derby-based company said the cuts could result in £700 million in savings towards an overall aim of £1.3 billion in annual savings.

It said it will also cut spending across its plant, property and other areas to strengthen its finances.

Chief Executive Warren East admitted it is “terrible news” for employees but warned action must be taken to protect the business in the long run.

Negotiations will now begin with trade unions before any figures for job losses in the UK are agreed.

Mr East said most of the cuts will be in the civil aerospace side of the business, which is where around two-thirds of the company’s UK employees work.

It is expected the cuts will mainly impact frontline jobs, but office staff will also be hit, while apprenticeships are also thought to be affected.

Typhoons taxi at RAF Akrotiri before night mission
Rolls-Royce signed a contract worth nearly £350 million last year for the engine maintenance of the RAF's Typhoon aircraft (Picture: MOD).

There have been fears of factory closures following the announcement but Mr East said no decisions have been taken.

The company has furloughed around 4,000 workers in the UK under the Government scheme to pay some of the wages of people affected by the crisis.

Assistant General Secretary of the Unite union, Steve Turner, called on Rolls-Royce "to step back from the brink and work with us on a better way through the crisis".

According to its website, Rolls-Royce has 160 customers in 103 countries for its military engines - more than 16,000 of which are in service.

It also works with navies, including the Royal Navy and its submarine fleet, and the British Army.

Trade body ADS, which represents aerospace, defence, security and space industries, called for "urgent action" from the Government to help deal with the issues posed by the pandemic.

Cover image: PA.