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British Union Pact Saves 600 Jobs

January 24, 2002

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LONDON (AP) _ Airbus and Rolls Royce said Thursday that flexible working agreements with unions have saved about 600 jobs.

At Rolls-Royce plants in Derby and Hucknall, about 360 jobs were saved by an agreement under which employees will work up to 51 hours a year of unpaid overtime, and 1 percent of a 2.5 percent pay deal will be deducted and used to save jobs, the companies said.

``I am very pleased that we have been able to reach this innovative agreement which will result in real benefits to everyone,″ said John Cheffins, chief operating officer at Rolls-Royce.

Airbus said the number of job cuts at its plant at Filton, near Bristol will be reduced from 400 to 150 after workers accepted a package of flexibility measures aimed at reducing business costs.

There will be no pay increase this year, a 2 percent increase next year, and time off will be taken in lieu of overtime.

``In true partnership with our unions and work force, we have been able to achieve a unique industrial agreement which helps to secure the futures of thousands of workers,″ said Jeremy Cieslik, Airbus general manager at Filton.

``These agreements could mean a new start for hundreds of people who were facing redundancy,″ said Sir Ken Jackson, general secretary of the Amicus union.

The Rolls-Royce agreement is subject to approval by workers.

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