Rolls Royce offers cash to workers facing high cost of living

Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, designed specifically for the Airbus A350 family of aircraft, are seen on the assembly line at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, on Nov 30, 2016.
PHOTO: Reuters

British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings said it was offering a cash lump sum of 2,000 pounds ($3,400) to about 70 per cent of its UK workforce to help them navigate high living costs.

Britain's economy initially rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic but is now battling high living costs worsened by a combination of labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, post-Brexit trade problems and war in Ukraine.

The UK aero-engine group said that it would give the cash lump sum to 11,000 shop-floor workers as well as 3,000 junior managers.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, a Rolls-Royce spokesperson said the company was also offering a 4 per cent pay rise backdated to March to 11,000 UK shopfloor workers.

The company added it was the first time it was offering a 'bonus' that was linked to the economic climate and not performance.

Household energy bills in Britain look set to surge by another 40 per cent in October, the industry regulator warned last month.

Rolls-Royce added that 3,000 workers would receive the cash in August, while the other 11,000 would get the amount when the deal was approved by the union.

The move comes days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a sharp hike in wages would risk fuelling further price rises, adding that increasing pay to match inflation risked a wage-price spiral. 

ALSO READ: Biggest rail strike in 30 years brings UK to standstill