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12/03/2014 - Hundreds walkout at Faslane

faslaneHundreds of workers at the Faslane nuclear base staged their first walkout in 42 years on Tuesday after rejecting what they say is a derisory pay offer from their employers.

Union leaders said talks had failed to secure a fair deal for members and claimed contractor Babcock paid “eye-watering” bonuses to directors at the top of the company.

Babcock Marine has failed to negotiate a basic one-year, consolidated pay deal matching the cost of living. This comes against the backdrop of a 9% pay rise for Babcock’s top four directors, who also shared a £7 million bonus pot between them in 2013. Workers on the Clyde are outraged and last week rejected a 2% increase for two years by a staggering 99%.

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “Quite simply workers on the Clyde have had enough; enough of below inflation pay deals, enough of one-off pay inducements and enough of an employer that wants to impose instead of negotiate.

“We are now in the ridiculous situation where Babcock’s top four directors are sharing a £7 million bonus pot and making merry with 9% increases to their six-figure salaries – yet the company refuses to negotiate a basic, one-year deal that helps our members match the cost-of-living.

“The disparity is beyond a joke now for workers on the Clyde who have fallen behind their industry’s average pay rates following four years of real-terms pay cuts despite doing everything to help this private sector giant fulfill its business objectives.

“The chickens are coming home to roost for Babcock Marine on the Clyde, which has been well warned about the ramifications of its grossly unfair pay policies, and its workers are no longer prepared to play the part of the poor relations in this highly profitable company.”

Pat Harrington, General Secretary of the Solidarity Union said:

“The ConDem lie that ‘we are all in it together’ has been nailed again. The bosses get bonuses and a 9% pay rise whilst workers are offered a pittance. The Clyde workers are right to take action.”

Unite confirmed that about 800 workers joined the two-hour walkout at the Faslane and Coulport naval bases on the Clyde on Tuesday morning.

Further one-hour stoppages are planned as well as a work to rule and an overtime ban.