Hundreds of civilian staff at the Clyde naval base walked out this morning in a dispute over pay and bargaining rights.
The strike action follows the ‘overwhelming’ support from 1000 or so United union members with 95% in support of strike action on a 65% turnout.
The rolling strike action will also be held in conjunction with a continuous call out ban and ban on all overtime, say the union.
“The strike action takes place in an escalating dispute over pay and bargaining rights with Babcock Marine. The ‘industrial’ workforce, which covers roles such as electricians, mechanical fitters, plumbers and joiners, have already rejected a pay offer of 1.1% for 2020. For 2021 and 2022, the offer was based on the consumer price index plus 0.5%. Unite has repeatedly raised concerns over the future of the nuclear naval bases following the imminent outcome of the Ministry of Defence’s Future Maritime Support Programme (FMSP).
Unite has warned that splitting national security contracts into smaller work packages endangers the country’s military power and nuclear response capabilities. The trade union has also criticised Babcock Marine management for refusing to engage with Unite on the future shape of the bases following the contract decision, which is expected to be decided upon in April 2021. The contracts are anticipated to run until March 2026.”
Stephen Deans, Unite regional coordinating officer, said:
“The strike action set to take place at the Clyde nuclear naval bases falls fully on the shoulders of Babcock Marine management. Unite representatives have for a number of weeks sought to resolve this dispute. However, the company has taken the deliberate decision to escalate this dispute by refusing to meaningfully engage with us on pay and the future workplace relations at the bases.
Any day now we are about to receive the outcome of the Ministry of Defence’s Future Maritime Support Programme, which is potentially worth up to £200m on the Clyde. Instead of discussing with Unite how we can work together following this major decision, Babcock Marine has ignored us and ultimately the workforce. Babcock Marine can pull this situation back from the brink if they finally get back to negotiating with us, but if they do not, then strike action involving hundreds of workers will continue until management see sense.”