Defence workers warn of more industrial action in the ...

Defence workers warn of more industrial action in the new year

19 December 2014

Workers at the Ministry of Defence’s cash rich Defence Support Group (DSG) have warned of further strike action in the new year as ministers confirmed the sell-off of the group to Babcock Land for £140 million.

The warning comes as 800 members of the Unite union finish a historic 10 day strike today (Friday 19 December) in a long running dispute over a pitiful one per cent pay rise.  

The latest action, the longest in the DSG’s history, was solidly supported by workers angry at the ‘betrayal’ of seeing their pay cut in real terms while the group is fattened up for its sale to the private sector.

Commenting, Mike McCartney Unite national officer said: “Defence Support Group management have hidden behind the Treasury’s pay cap and denied the workforce a decent pay rise which reflects their contribution to the £15 million surplus the organisation posted in the last year.

“It is a disgrace that hard pressed workers struggling to make ends meet are seeing their pay cut in real terms while the Treasury rakes in £140 million from the sale of DSG.

“The MoD and DSG need to sit down and negotiate a settlement or risk further action in the new year which could disrupt the smooth handover to Babcock Land.”

The latest round of action at the group which maintains, repairs and overhauls military equipment for the MoD, followed six days of solid strike action in October and November.

The main sites affected by the walkouts are at Bovington (Dorset), Catterick (North Yorkshire), Colchester, Donnington (Shropshire), Stirling, Sealand (North Wales) and Warminster (Wiltshire). 


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.