The Workers Party of Britain denounces double-dealing by Rolls-Royce over the future of the crucial industrial hub at Barnoldswick and salutes the decision by seventeen engineers to strike at the end of July, with further action planned for 9 August.
After a number of earlier strikes, management gave certain guarantees about the long term future of the plant, such that Unite felt able to announce a victory.
But now it turns out that Roll-Royce was just playing games, hoping that workers would sit back as it reneged on key elements of the deal, crucially the guarantee of a minimum headcount of 350 workers and the promised opening of a new training centre to cultivate the future skills base of the company. The failure of management to match words with deeds leaves the workforce in a state of limbo, worried about their futures.
The downward pressure on job security, on pay and conditions and on investment in training of the next generation of skilled workers at Barnoldswick is driven by a global contraction in Rolls Royce jobs, with plans to slash 9,000 out of its global workforce of 52,000 as the capitalist crisis of overproduction takes its toll.
The strikers are right to refuse to be made the scapegoats for a crisis not of their own making, and the Workers Party of Britain give them full support in defence of their futures. If Rolls Royce is incapable of preserving and developing such a crucial hub of productive capacity as Barnoldswick, then it is high time that Barnoldswick came under public ownership, along with the rest of Britain’s eroding manufacturing base.