GMB members working on the company’s nuclear submarine programme have begun industrial action.

The action started on Monday 29 April, and will run for one month.

The action comes after 90 per cent of GMB members at the company supported action if company bosses failed to present a pay rise acceptable to union members.

Known as ‘work to rule’, the industrial action will see GMB members applying strict limits to working outside of pre-agreed processes.

Rolls-Royce is a world leader in the field of submarine technology, as well as being the supplier to Britain’s domestic nuclear submarine fleet.

In agreement with the company, any industrial action will not jeopardise the UK’s continuous at sea nuclear deterrent, safety of submarines or operational submarines at sea.

Mick Coppin, GMB Regional Organiser, said:

“Our members have begun industrial action today after weeks of company bosses refusing to bring a fair pay settlement to the table. These are highly skilled workers at the cutting edge of British manufacturing.

“In a year when company profits have skyrocketed, all workers are asking for is a fair days pay. It’s time for company bosses to urgently get back around the table and fix this; our members deserve that.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jeff Taggart
Jeff Taggart (@guest_815429)
28 days ago

The offer is a 10% payrise and 6 days additional holiday. Accepted by everyone but the GMB. Some members have even quit GMB. Why isn’t that mentioned?

geoff
geoff (@guest_815462)
27 days ago

There has to be a better way of solving such disputes in general, other than by strike action, but I can’t think of an alternative that might work. In a classic free enterprise economy with many buyers and many sellers, skilled workers could move to another company that offered better wages, but that text book model is long dead(even if it ever really existed). My only concern is that the affect on such sensitive projects might damage the defence of the realm, despite the assurances given. If they are working to rule it will slow the completion date, sour management-worker… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by geoff
Expat
Expat (@guest_815506)
27 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Best thing for the company and workers is to enter into a profit share agreement. So when the company does well the worker benefits but Unions tend to see one off profits as a reason to get long term pay rises, which is fundamentally flawed thinking as profits aren’t permenant and need the company to stay competitive and continue to win business that provides profit. In Germany Union sit on board and review the entire financial position of the company, they better versed in how the overall business runs and the long term impact of their demands. We prefer a… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Expat
Mark B
Mark B (@guest_815533)
27 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes the Government won’t be increasing the amount payable to the contractors (and if they do only by a small amount). Not sure that any company will be looking towards the German model as helpful most see German subsidiaries as a nightware as a working environment. Some form of profit sharing might seem sensible.

geoff
geoff (@guest_815620)
26 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Thanks for your reply Expat. A difficult issue-Makes me think that perhaps the world would be better off if nations were run by clones of Lee Kuan Yew!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815696)
26 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Like your thinking I’d be intrigued about your opinion of my reply to DB.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815700)
26 days ago
Reply to  Expat

As for a profit share agreement I don’t know a single RR employee who isn’t a shareholder in their own right. Many years ago the focal point at break time was page 3 of the sun now it’s “anyone checked the FT ?”. In fact I’d say that bonuses should be paid in shares.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_815678)
26 days ago
Reply to  geoff

The best way of solving the dispute is an impartial intermediary binding on both sides. This should be the case for all workers who are in jobs which are essentially essential. Doctor, Nurses, Railway workers, etc. It needs to be done in such a way as to avoid fueling inflation & must be effectively affordable.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815693)
26 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The best way to solve the never ending issues with all public service employees is to get rid of every single independent pay body. Abolish all the separate Unions and have one body to represent all public workers, and I’d include the Armed Forces as well. Instead everyone is put on one Universal Pay Scale that is related as a % to the National Average Wage. Depending on how valuable or skilled the job depends where you are on the scale. That also stops the incessant “Well the Junior Drs got 6% so I want the same” everyone gets the… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_815710)
26 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Yes. Linking it strongly to wages in the sector is probably a decent idea. You are almost suggesting this could be done using some form of formula. You would have allow a mechanism to allow for higher pay to reward greater productivity. Abolishing unions might get a mixed reaction however I can certainly see that negotiating pay should come out of the mix.

DJ
DJ (@guest_815763)
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

You also need a mechanism to change the formula over time. Some jobs no longer exist (when is the last time you saw a lift operator). Not all jobs stay the same. Some evolve over time, some stay relatively static, some disappear, some appear & some reappear (some disappear because there was not enough work at the time, but time moves on & nothing lasts forever). Some jobs that were traditionally low paid, no-one now wants to do. If it was simple, it would have already been done.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_815827)
25 days ago
Reply to  DJ

I think lift operators are called plastic surgeons nowadays.😂

I suspect that the problem is political. The obvious place to start would be jobs (normally public sector) where it is difficult for employees to strike due to the essential nature of their work. Doctors, Nurses, Train Drivers, Soldiers, Police etc.

Many of those workers are currently covered by trade unions Which may not be happy if you effectively took away a key reason for their existance.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815921)
25 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Yes of course you do, it would need to be flexible and take into account experience, change in economic circumstances and upskilling. But one big body in charge.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815695)
26 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I should have added that there are literally 100’s of independent pay bodies, each of which has to be funded. It’s actually an industry of QUANGOS funded by poor industrial relations. 🤔

DJ
DJ (@guest_815771)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

No doubt there is a pay body to sort out the pay of pay body personnel. Sometimes bureaucracy is self defeating.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815923)
25 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Except 1 the MPs.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815699)
26 days ago
Reply to  geoff

No-one at RR Nuclear (or RR&A as it used to be)is on strike, in fact we have never had one. Yep the classic model is dead, but right now really highly skilled workers are in massive demand. They just don’t exist and taking on contractors isn’t an option in some parts of the Industry (security), so it will get settled. It’s interesting here in Derby because we have 2 RR’s, the Aero side (which is where nearly everyone starts) and RR on Raynesway. Get it wrong on Aero and 200/300 people die, get it wrong on Raynesway and it’s a… Read more »

geoff
geoff (@guest_815717)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Many thanks for the ‘from the horses’ mouth info Rodney. The skills shortage is a world wide phenomenon. Here in SA we have millions unemployed but the only people that can(figuratively) hang a door properly are a few old artisans way past retirement age.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815924)
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

You just made my day, yep I’m an apprentice served ex engineer and I know how a lot of things work. But one of my Hobbies is Carpentry and I just love working with hand tools and a living pliable material.
And yes I know how to hang a door 🤣

Whats the going rate in SA ?

geoff
geoff (@guest_815974)
24 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Hey Rodney-to answer your question, one needs to go back in history a little to the decades prior to the damage inflicted on Industry and infrastructure in SA under the malignant rule of Jacob Zuma. South Africa built the first Nuclear reactor on the African continent commencing operations in the early 1980’s. We also had a first world infrastructure which was by far the best on the continent. Our Defence Industry which along with Israel and a few others including Taiwan and Zimbabwe/Rhodesia,was a member of the” Necessity is the Mother of Invention ” Club due to sanctions and more… Read more »

Daniel
Daniel (@guest_816025)
24 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

At Raynesway we have had various forms of industrial action over the years including work to rule.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815919)
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Geoff Not one single person at RR on Raynesway is on strike. It’s a work to rule, so just be professional, turn up do the job, work your hours and then go home. No overtime ! It’s a disagreement about pay in an industry that is massively having to ramp up in capacity after decades of under investment and a generation of engineers who were just not recruited. What you don’t know is that every single one of those workers know precisely the implications of what happens if their job isn’t done correctly. Nearly every single one lives locally and… Read more »

geoff
geoff (@guest_815973)
24 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Wow-spoken with passion and a case well presented Rodney!

DB
DB (@guest_815491)
27 days ago

Rodders ABC are you on the naughty step?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815691)
26 days ago
Reply to  DB

Nope ! I have just been sitting back and reading the comments before saying anything. It’s actually nice not to see anyone screaming to hang folks from the Yard Arm for exercising their democratic rights. I do think that way too many people forget the reasons this weird, odd little island of ours is worth defending. Democracy, tolerance and a sense of fair play (except for the French). Firstly no one is on strike, they are working to rule which just means “I’m doing the job I’m paid to do, the way I’m supposed to and not one jot more”.… Read more »

DB
DB (@guest_815706)
26 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Now Jonathan does post some great content, Gunbuster does mental detail, Airborne just goes feet first, Daniele has OCD on spreadsheets for all the Services he’s never served in, HOWEVER,

This has to be ranked #1 for the 2024 post of the year.

Balanced, thoughtful, incisive, detailed.

George, time to create a post of the year, please.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815761)
25 days ago
Reply to  DB

I’m blushing, thank you ! 🍻

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_815824)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Good on you mate.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815926)
25 days ago

Thank you. And I just hope you have a nice quiet weekend, my wife loves BH as she gets to schedule engineering works.
🚂😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_815984)
24 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Not this weekend I’m afraid. That was last weekend, no trains, lovely!

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_815712)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Toyota story is very interesting. It shows what happens when the management work constructively with the workers. The fact that the initial ideas came from the workers shows they know the business.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_815758)
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

We really do go OTT to knock our own country but when we get it right very little is said. Good Industrial relations are an absolute must in any sustainable industry, it isn’t rocket Science it just needs both sides to understand that they both have the same ultimate goal.