Rolls-Royce walkout leads to union talks

Management and unions at Rolls-Royce are to hold talks after an unofficial walkout by staff at the company’s Bristol factory.

Around 400 workers at the plant, which produces military jet engines, took action after Amicus union official Jerry Hicks was sacked over allegations of misconduct.

Hicks, who was dismissed on Wednesday after a disciplinary panel hearing, had been accused of gross misconduct after organising an unofficial strike in support of two members of staff who faced the sack.

Amicus warned that action could spread to the company’s five other UK sites after an emergency meeting on Thursday. It is already balloting members over industrial action that would take place in a month’s time.

Tony Pearce, officer at Amicus, said: “There was a mass meeting of our members at the plant today, and it was decided that a ballot for industrial action [should] be held as soon as possible in support of Jerry Hicks. Amicus’s 3,000 manual members on the site will be balloted at the earliest opportunity.”

Tony Wood, managing director of Rolls-Royce’s Defence Aerospace division, said: “This is not about the trade unions. This is about the gross misconduct of one of our employees that undermined the lawful and legitimate legal process for the handling of issues involving other employees.”


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