12 February 2014
A prolonged campaign of industrial action at the Faslane and Coulport nuclear naval and armament bases will start next week after workers agreed measures to tackle a 1 per cent below-inflation pay imposition and a refusal to negotiate or conciliate by their employer Babcock Marine.
Unite has notified the employer of continuous industrial action involving a work to rule, call-out ban and a ban on all non-contractual overtime commencing at 00:01 hours, Wednesday 19 February.
There will also be discontinuous strike action consisting of a two-hour stoppage commencing at 10:00 hours also on Wednesday (19 February) and then further discontinuous strike action in the form of staged stoppages from Thursday 20 February onwards.
On-going attempts to reach a resolution have been frustrated by Babcock Marine’s Clyde general manager, Peter Merriman, who refused Unite’s offer to meet under the auspices of ACAS in the wake of an overwhelming 95 per cent mandate for action from the workforce and has yet to provide any evidence supporting the private sector giant’s claim that the 1 per cent imposition is a result of its MoD contract.
Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “The first mass-industrial action on the Clyde in 42 years should set alarm bells ringing in the MoD and really crystallise the problems created by Babcock’s refusal to negotiate a consolidated pay deal which it can more than afford.
“This morning’s meeting is a further demonstration of the worker’s anger about this blatantly unfair below-inflation pay imposition, yet Babcock continues to bury its head in the sand by refusing our conciliation proposals and stonewalling our calls for evidence on the nature of its contract with the MoD.
“A prolonged period of industrial action will severely disrupt day-to-day operations at the Faslane and Coulport base, but the workers will strive to ensure the safety of the workforce, the naval base and the local communities will not be compromised.
“Over 800 workers across all aspects of the Clyde’s operations have spoken collectively: they want a fair deal on pay and they want the company to negotiate with their trade union, Unite, to achieve this.
“The ball is now in Babcock’s court.”