The Defence Support Group (DSG) is set to be hit by the longest strike in its history as workers at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) facility announced they would be starting a 10 day strike on 8 December in an ongoing dispute over a one per cent pay rise.
In an open letter to the DSG, MoD and potential new owners Babcock Land, the 800 members of Unite warned that the group’s proposed sale could be derailed by a “pay system that only serves to demotivate employees and breed discontent”.
Pointing out that “while the organisation’s accounts have swelled we have seen our pay cut in real terms by 12–18 per cent,” the letter goes on to urge the DSG, MoD and Babcock Land to “do the right thing and give the workforce the pay it deserves,” and warns that “having decided on our course of action we are determined to see the job through.”
The latest round of action at the group which maintains, repairs and overhauls military equipment for the MoD, follows six days of solid strike action in October and November.
The main sites affected by the latest walkout are at Bovington (Dorset), Catterick (North Yorkshire), Colchester, Donnington (Shropshire), Stirling and Warminster (Wiltshire).
Commenting, Mike McCartney Unite national officer for the MoD and government departments said: “The MoD, DSG management and the group’s potential new owner Babcock Land should be under no illusion of the resolve of the workforce to secure a fair pay settlement.
“Workers who have made DSG such a success story in supporting our armed forces feel betrayed by the continual erosion of their pay packets. The DSG is a cash rich organisation which can well afford a decent a pay rise for its hard working staff.
“Feelings among our members are running high not just because of the insulting pay offer, but because of the uncertain future they face of being sold off to the private sector. Management need to get back around the table to avoid the sell-off being derailed.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey