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.”

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Daniele Mandelli

“And Coulport”

Thought that side would be mostly MDP/MoD civvy AWE types.


Geoffrey Roach

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their jobs in the holiday, hospitality, retail and tourism industries who have lost their jobs I would like to congratulate Unite on their understanding.

Supportive Bloke

Both UNITE and CWU don’t really seem to have their finger on the pulse here or at BT.

Both lots of workers have pretty secure jobs for the foreseeable.

So a strike about the trimmings isn’t really going to go down well with the general public.

What is done at Faslane and Coulport is so obscure to most people that the strike will not even be noticed.


I am surprised being a nuclear weapons facility that they are allowed to strike?

Andy P

Faslane ‘dockies’ are a law unto themselves, they’re by far the worst I’ve dealt with, there was generally little interest in what they were supposed to be there for and the Naval presence was a necessary evil. I’m generally sympathetic to unions, or at least the idea of them but without knowing anything other than what’s presented in the article, it doesn’t surprise me they’re holding out for more cash. As an aside, I hear the train guards (in Scotland anyway) are going on strike for more cash too…. As someone who tries to stay open minded and willing to… Read more »


There has to be a better way of creating a two way dialogue between management and personnel than Unions. I don’t know what it’s like in Britain but here in SA our Unions are only interested in creating conflict and of course living the high life on fifty bucks a month from millions of workers.In this instance I would have thought that there would be some restriction on strikes in defence related organisations. I also agree that Unions are Unions throughout the UK-no better or worse in any one locality. Scotland has a great shipbuilding infrastructure and tradition with some… Read more »

Andy P

Morning Geoff, I’m not sure what you could use instead of Unions, they evolved from a ‘good place’ although they do seem to have become another trough for some to feed at. Organisations like ACAS don’t seem to have enough teeth to do the job. A mate who works for Scottish/British Gas is in the middle of strike action because of a fire and rehire policy that is going to take thousands off the engineers, lots of sympathy from MP’s and other assorted grandees but its not illegal. ACAS weren’t able to do much and because of all the other… Read more »


Thanks for your email Andy. Regarding your last line-nice colours but that’s about it! My best pal at Uni was a Dundee United supporter. He was also a Nat who sang a version of the Sash that said “..and Scotland has no Queen!” my dad played as a schoolboy international against Scotland in the 1930’s. He played right wing and they called him “hookey” Caruth! 🙂

peter wait

Pay of British gas CEO went up despite loosing customers, they should end percentage pay rises and give everyone a meaningful sum eg £10 per week. Percentages merely increase the gap between lowest paid and managers !

Andy P

What’s this you say ???? Those at the top giving themselves big pay rises (and bonuses)…. surely not !!!


I know many who’ve taken 20% pay cuts and are not getting a rise this year. Not one has complained and all recognised that not doing this would cost their colleagues their jobs. When their salaries do go up they will pay more tax again they understand the country has debts to pay.


Not sure with another independence vote looming why any company involved in defence in Scotland would be looking at lengthening contracts. You’d want to keep them short so you can react to any political change.


No there isn’t.


They need to bring the yards South of the border. If somebody wants to work in one then they should be banned from being a member of a union. This is National security we are talking about.

George Royce

Hear hear.

We’re far too reliant on an unstable part of the UK. Bring them back down to England.

Captain P Wash

“Them” ?

George Royce

The shipyards

captain p wash

Easily done from the comfort of an iPhone and a social platform ehh ?

George Royce

Pat yourself on the back for that one old boy.

We should still have a plan B to move them down south if worst comes to worst.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

George awa n pish son cos yer talking shite ……. I’m afraid this subject is getting yawnsome there is nothing unstable here in Scotland once again you conflate the nationalist party propaganda and the shitey MSM who continually propagate all this shite causing the less informed from engerlandshire to become somewhat confused .

might I suggest you come visit on a relaxing holiday

shipbuilding is fine where it is 💯


George Royce

The calibre of your response is not doing your argument any favours.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

I call a spade a spade and I’m afraid your silly use of the word “unstable” is well a plainly silly statement and I think you know it. just be honest you have an issue with ships being built up here there’s no problem if that’s your belief but to imply Scotland is “unstable” is ridiculous and factually incorrect. It is blatantly obvious you like many others in here from the south watch the MSM and come away thinking everyone up here wants to leave the union which just isn’t true. so sorry but you are talking shite and all… Read more »

Yes ,lets not create more dividing lines and help the SNP , although their second independents ref seems to be slipping away from them thank god.


Well said

Andy P

Don’t know about you Dave but I’ve got an extra large box of popcorn on standby for the announcement from the ‘Harassment committee’. Just in case, I’ve got some bubbly in the fridge too, a boy can dream….

Hopefully Wee Jimmy will be getting a visit from Mr Slippyfist for her shenanigans. I watched her giving evidence, lots of “I can’t remember” and she was looking to bluff it out, even if she does escape a vote of No Confidence she’s been tarnished and it does seem to have had an impact on the numbers wanting independence.


Yes she comes across as very arrogant and delusional, signs of being in power far too long . I think Borris can get away with just denying her indref 2 as the polls are turning against her.

Andy P

Just my take Dave but IF the SNP get in on a landslide (can’t see a scenario where they’re NOT the largest party) BoJo has said “NAW, once in a generation” and that’s fair enough, it will be 7 years. Another 5 after that and we’re getting to a long enough time frame that it will be hard to ignore calls for another referendum. Hopefully the SNP won’t be able to form a government in May after the fallout from ‘Eckgate’ even with the Greens. Unfortunately, there is no credible alternative in Scotland, a Labour/Tory alliance ??? Can’t see it,… Read more »

George Royce

I wasn’t going to reply to this but I sense I must. Scottish independence has been on a 14-month high. It’s only just gone level due to the Salmond-Sturgeon fiasco. The SNP have been in government for 14 years in a row. They are a single-issue party. Despite failings in NHS waiting times, education, and a 7% deficit, they still keeping getting voted the largest party. Scotland has the worst drug crisis in Europe, yet still the Scots keep falling for the SNP’s lies. They will eventually get their second referendum, that much is a fact. I am a Conservative… Read more »

Andy P

The submarines are made in Barrow George. As for the rest I broadly agree, the SNP have let the people of Scotland down on a range of issues and like you I’m very concerned about the ‘Nanny State’ aspect of their rule. Councils prevented from amending their own council tax charges seems to escape criticism, not sure why, the SNP were quite keen to introduce a ‘Community Charge’ (remember that !) but when they realised a lot of their own rank and file didn’t like it because they would be hit harder it was dropped…. and now we have what… Read more »

George Royce

I said shipyards not boatyards 😛

I concur with the rest. Someone just needs to tell the shouty jock above, we’re on his side but we’re not delusional either.

Andy P

Which shouty Jock, I’ve been known to dabble myself…..

George Royce

The chap who responded to my op. “The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken”

all ex navy people know there not coming south any time soon, the won’t even move to rosyth, faslane is well placed for the job they do. Let’s hope they see sense

David Flandry

National interest is something that Unite does not believe in. Perhaps these facilities should be relocated.

Last edited 13 days ago by David Flandry
captain p wash

Site Location, Re-location cost’s, Manpower, infrastructure, political Fallout, Planning laws, NIMBY’S are just a few of the issues expected even if such a decision were ever to be taken and, there would still be Unions.


Perhaps if some posters could distinguish between a shipyard, a Naval base and an armaments depot, this debate would make some sense! Alas…