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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 12:06 GMT
Protests held to save Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce engine
No final decision to close the plant will be made until the new year
Workers at Rolls-Royce sites across the UK have joined a national protest in support of colleagues fighting to save its plant on Merseyside.

The public solidarity comes after Rolls-Royce bosses announced plans to close the factory on Dunningsbridge Road, Bootle, at a cost of 200 jobs.

More than 10,000 workers have signed a petition. Short protests were held at eight separate sites.

The plant is due to close next year, and production move to the US.

It is scandalous that a global employer like Rolls-Royce can abandon its loyal workforce and shift production abroad
Ian Tonks, Unite union

Bosses of the Merseyside factory, which makes turbines for the oil and gas industries, blamed the closure on high costs and the British pound's strength against the US dollar.

The Unite union has organised the rallies as the latest move in its campaign to save 212 jobs at the factory.

Ian Tonks, Unite national officer, said: "It is scandalous that a global employer like Rolls-Royce can abandon its loyal workforce and shift production abroad.

"We are doing everything in our power to defend our member's jobs on Merseyside.

"We will take on any company that attempts to exploit the UK's weak employment laws because it's cheaper, quicker and easier to cut jobs here compared to jobs of workers in other countries."

Thirty-minute protests were held outside Rolls-Royce plants in Bootle, Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Sunderland, Barnoldswick, Inchinnan in Renfrewshire and East Kilbride in Glasgow.

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