Civilian staff at Faslane to strike over worker rights

Astute-class submarines at Faslane. Picture: PA
Astute-class submarines at Faslane. Picture: PA
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Civilian staff at the Faslane and Coulport naval bases are to stage a series of strikes in a dispute over worker rights.

Members of the Unite union who work in roles involving radiation monitoring, weapons support, cleaning, logistics, maintenance and repairs are to take action over what they claim is a ‘’systematic campaign to undermine workers’’ by employer Babcock Marine.

Faslane is home to Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent and the Royal Navy’s entire submarine fleet is to be based at the site from 2020.

A continuous overtime and on-call ban will start on March 24 and will affect all areas at the bases, including the Nuclear Operations Department, the union said.

Unite members working in trades, catering, transportation and mail operations will also begin a series of staggered periods of strike action up to June 15.

• READ MORE: Faslane investment deal ‘will benefit the wider community’

The union said Babcock Marine is considering the outsourcing of services to private companies and accused management of ‘’failing to meaningfully consult and negotiate with the trade union’’.

Unite members voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action.

Last week, a Royal Navy spokesman said the dispute is a matter between Unite and Babcock but it is being “monitored carefully”.

Unite regional officer Stephen Deans said: “This action will coincide with a particularly busy period at both Coulport and Faslane and will cause major disruption to the day-to-day services that Babcock Marine provides.

“This includes land-based repairs, mail delivery, feeding the Navy sailors at their normal mealtimes, and nuclear operational and waterfront services. There will be a severe impact.

“Our members work hard supporting the Royal Navy’s operations. They refuse to be intimidated by a private company whose biggest interest at the moment seems to be weakening workers’ rights so that it can squeeze all the cash it can from the nation’s defence.”