UNCERTAINTY surrounds the future of hundreds of Wearside jobs after Rolls-Royce announced it is cutting more than 2,500 posts.
The firm yesterday unveiled plans to axe 2,600 posts over the next 18 months, principally from its aerospace division, which operates at a new plant on the former Dunlop Tyres site in Washington.
It is not clear how many jobs, if any, will be affected at Washington.
The firm released a statement outlining the reasons for the move.
“The investment we have made in technology and new capacity, alongside the organisational changes we have made to simplify the group, have enabled us to increase output and improve efficiency.
“A large engineering team was required for the development phase of the Trent 1000 and Trent XWB engines. Both these major programmes have now entered their production phase, reducing our engineering requirement.
“We have opened a number of world class new facilities, such as Crosspointe in the USA and in the UK at Rotherham and Washington, Tyne & Wear. These set new standards in productivity and efficiency and allow us to improve the competitiveness of our footprint.
“The organisation of our Group into two divisions, Aerospace and Land & Sea, will enable us to reduce management layers and structural cost including indirect labour.”
The firm says the move will save about £80million a year.
CEO John Rishton said: “The measures announced today will not be the last, however, they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company. We will work closely with employees and their representatives to achieve the necessary reductions on a voluntary basis where possible.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable visited Washington in June to open the new plant. Rolls-Royce shares the former Dunlop site with a new BAE Systems munitions factory.