Tuesday, May 9, 2017

News: Union strikes Rolls-Royce pay deal

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Unite, the country's largest union, is hailing a three year pay deal at Rolls-Royce in Rotherham, one of the largest deals that the company has agreed in recent years.

The world-renowned engineers operate the most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. The £110m Advanced Blade Casting Facility (ABCF) manufactures turbine blades for the latest generation of aero engines.

Signing the deal last week, Unite said that the package which will benefit about 120 staff below the management and guarantees a minimum of 17% over three years.

The union said that the deal was a recognition that the pay rates were among the lowest across the group and this had resulted in workers at the South Yorkshire site leaving for better jobs.

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Unite regional officer Doug Patterson said: "While small in number in terms of the workforce, it is one of the largest deals Rolls-Royce has agreed in recent years.

"It has come about because the company finally accepted what Unite had been saying for some time that paying the lowest rates in the group was contributing significantly to the high rate of attrition."

Officially opening in 2015, two types of turbine blades are manufactured at the Rotherham facility: high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades. The blades are "grown" in a special process which ensures that they are created from a single metal crystal to maximise their strength. These SX blades generate the power of a Formula 1 racing car.

There are over 65 advanced turbine blades in every iconic Trent engine and 182 turbine blades in each Trent XWB engine.

Patterson added: "We regard this pay deal, following tough negotiations, as a success in these challenging economic times and it demonstrates the strong value of union membership.

"What individuals will receive depends on whether they are "shop floor" or "professional", but we estimate that for most employees that it will be a minimum of 17% over three years."

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Harworth Group


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