Save Our Roles, Royce

This week, I found myself honking support for picketers standing outside the Barnoldswick Rolls Royce plant. They are protesting the company’s plans to sack 350 of them, and offshore their jobs to Singapore. When that Asian arm was established in 2009, the company assured British staff that their jobs would not be affected. Eleven years later, regarding the pandemic as a fine opportunity, the firm reneged on its earlier pledge.

Rolls Royce is one of the remaining flagship companies our country still has, yet this episode shows how little loyalty large firms have in this globalised age. Paying much less to people around the world and throwing existing staff onto the rubbish heap generates the most profit. For big business, employees are cheap and expendable, an overhead to be reduced and slashed. Concern for families, mental health, mortgages and kindness cannot be calculated in the company accounts and are therefore worthless.

James warns rich employers in chapter 5: Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

There’s no actual fraud going on here, but the discarding of human beings onto the dole’s slagheap shows an appalling disregard for others. Scripture urges us not to put our trust in princes, and to that we might add chief executives and company boards. We are reckoned as fodder, automatons, disposable drudges only fit to line the pockets of the rich. Thank God, Christ sees people as intrinsically valuable, including the disabled, the unlearned, the despised and the unborn. Though He detests our sin, He loves our race, becoming one of us, dying and resurrecting, that we might spend eternity with Him.

Gainful employment was God’s plan for humans from the start. Unemployment, idleness and untapped potential are the hallmarks of a corrupted and fallen world. 

Image by Michael Bußmann from Pixabay