11 November 2014
Please rush messages of support to: DSGStrike@yahoo.com
Unite leaflet to build 4 day strike at DSG
Escalate the action 4 days strike 17-20 Nov
Our industrial action has got off to a magnificent start with around 700 of us taking part in October’s two days of strike action. Sites reported that there were lively picket lines and well supported demonstrations at the gates.
Gail Cartmail, Unite assistant general secretary, congratulated the workforce not only on the numbers taking part in the action but also on the positive and determined attitude of
members standing up and fighting for a decent wage.
She added “the DSG strikes set social media buzzing with photos of your picket lines being tweeted and shared by thousands of trade unionists around the UK and beyond”.
Since the return of an 85% vote for industrial action, the combine has received messages of support and solidarity from trade union branches across the country.
We are aware that the ‘BSG’ (the Whitehall mandarins flogging off DSG) are putting pressure on the DSG Board to ensure there’s a ‘smooth transition to sale’. Well, let’s face it, they won’t want anything to spook potential new owners; especially not the sight of us, ‘their greatest asset’, on strike outside the gates waving flags and making lots of
noise about our shamefully low pay.
Unfortunately for the DSG board and sales team, our strikes have received a considerable amount of coverage in the press and on radio. We have even made the business pages of the Telegraph and the FT, with city commentators
referring to the ‘Human Resources Challenges’ that our action will bring possible buyers.
DSG has been rattled by the strikes and by our colleagues’ withdrawal from mobile support teams. They have responded by attempting to threaten and intimidate Unite
members, spread untruths about our picket lines and by releasing misleading figures.
This means that now it’s time for us to ratchet up the action and put even more pressure on! Our next strike action is over 4 days with all sites being called out midnight 16 November until midnight 20 November.
Unite knows times are extremely hard for low paid DSG workers but we all know that we won’t get better pay unless we are prepared to fight and do what it takes to win.
What the papers say…..
BBC News 15 Oct: “Hundreds of Ministry of Defence staff have gone on strike over
pay amid plans to sell off a specialist group to the private sector”
The Northern Echo 23 Oct: “Ministry of Defence vehicle repair staff have taken
further strike action. Workers at Defence Support Group (DSG), which has a base in
Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, are taking part in a 24-hour strike today.”
Bournemouth Echo 15 Oct: “Army vehicle workers in strike action at Bovington and Lulworth.”
Financial Times 19 Oct: “Britain’s Ministry of Defence is expected to sell its equipment repair and maintenance arm next month… Staff at the DSG went on strike last week calling for an 8 per cent pay rise. They argue employees should receive a share of the £67m profit the DSG made this year, to compensate for the loss of their
civil service pensions and altered working conditions when they transfer to their new employer early in 2015.”
Daily Telegraph 19 Oct: “Hundreds of the DSG’s staff went on strike last week, demanding an 8pc pay rise at a time when the specialist division made a profit of £67m.”
City AM: “Whoever does take over the DSG will face human resources challenges.
Staff were on strike last week, asking for an eight per cent pay rise.”
The Morning Star 16 Oct:“MoD Equipment staff walkout for more pay.”
The Daily Record 20 Oct: “Unite convener at the Stirling DSG site, Ronnie Simpson said the strike had 100 per cent support from Unite members at Stirling. ‘They are bitter about the one per cent pay offer but strike action is the last resort. A one-day strike will not have a significant effect on our support for our troops but will raise awareness with the DSG and military that they are undervaluing staff. DSG had pre-tax profits
of £15m. Staff here are on a basic of £18,000 a year and we have had four years of underlying pay cuts’.”