By Khaled Hejrej @k_hijris
Workers at Rolls-Royce were warned that Britain’s exit from the EU could affect labour, and increase costs and prices.
In a letter leaked to the Guardian, Rolls-Royce bosses warned their employees that Brexit could be counter-productive for the company.
The Rolls-Royce factory in Derby has the companies biggest workforce in the UK of 12,000 people, prompting worries about local jobs.
The company claims it was not trying to influence how its employees voted by sending out letters and emails to 8,000 employees.
BMW-owned Rolls-Royce motors exports 80 per cent of its MINIs to Europe and has benefitted from the free movement associated with the EU for its vehicles, components and labour.
Those in charge were simply informing their workers as to how leaving the EU could affect the company’s standing, BMW group’s Graham Biggs told The Guardian.
Regardless of the EU Referendum’s outcome, the company’s communications director, Richard Carter, told The Guardian that he believed that employees had a right to know how the decision could affect their employment and asserted that whatever the decision, the company would deal with it from a business vantage point.
Chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos expressed concerns to The Guardian over trade tariffs – should the UK leave the EU – which will result in more expensive exchanges of goods, as well as the status of skilled workers from the EU, who could face more restrictions in the future.
Opposing forces have expressed that the views of company executives invested in the foreign market do not necessarily represent the views of their workforce. Paul Stephenson, a spokesperson for Vote Leave told the Guardian big companies were spending millions abroad and running smaller companies out of business.
However, others have praised a single-economy system, such as West Sussex MP Nick Herbert who is also the chairman of Conservative In, the party’s pro-EU campaigning group. He told praised Rolls-Royces employment record to The Guardian, and claimed the company had proven itself to be efficient under the EU.