Covid-19 (Next Steps)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Richard Leonard Richard Leonard Labour

I thank the First Minister for advance sight of her statement, and I remind members of my entry in the register of members’ interests.

In June, the Scottish Government announced that it was establishing a Rolls-Royce working group to protect jobs under threat at Inchinnan in Renfrewshire. Further, on 3 June, the First Minister told Parliament that she would

“work very closely with trade unions” and spoke of

“a team Scotland approach”.—[

Official Report

, 3 June; c 19.]

I am sure that the First Minister believed what she said at the time, but she was wrong. The Scottish Government’s Rolls-Royce working group does not include one Rolls-Royce trade union representative. If it was a team, it was a team that did not include the players.

This is not just about the future of a site; it is about the future of jobs, at a time when Scotland is on the precipice of a major unemployment crisis. It is about the future of work in Scotland and the future of workers in Scotland.

Rolls-Royce workers are lobbying Parliament today. Just a few minutes ago, I spoke to Tam Mitchell, who is Unite the union’s convener. He has worked for Rolls-Royce for nearly 35 years. He asked me to directly ask the First Minister this question:

“We face the loss of 550 jobs and a business closure in a matter of weeks. Can you NOW share with the workforce what has been done to secure their jobs?”