A total of 240 Unite and GMB members employed by contactor ISS, which provides food services, cleaning, and other services at eight RAF stations in England and Wales will take strike action on Thursday 20 June in a dispute over pay. Other dates will be notified in due course.
The joint unions place on record their willingness to meet at any time or place, including at the conciliation service, Acas, should ISS wish to enter into discussions with a view to averting industrial action.
These members voted overwhelmingly for strike action in an official strike ballot that concluded on 28 May. ISS was notified of the ballot result and the unions asked for more talks, but there has been no movement to resolve the pay dispute at the eight bases
ISS offered a pay rise of 8p an hour from 1 October 2012 and only 2p an hour to those on the national minimum wage of £6.19 per hour. This was overwhelmingly rejected by members.
The strike action will be taken by members employed by ISS at the following eight RAF stations: Cranwell, Scampton and Kirton-in-Lindsey in Lincolnshire, Valley in Anglesey, Shawbury and Cosford in Shropshire, Llanwrst in Conwy and Fairbourne in Gwynedd.
Members undertake the following roles on the ISS contract on these RAF stations: Chef, cleaner, bar steward, catering assistant, admin, mess management, mess hand, mess hand/kitchen porter, payroll clerk, receptionist, retail assistant, steward/stewardess, storeman/driver and supervisor.
Mike McCartney, Unite national officer for Ministry of Defence members, said: “GMB and Unite have written directly to the company to place on record our willingness to meet at any time or place, including Acas, should ISS wish to enter into meaningful discussions with a genuine view to averting a strike and addressing our members' aspirations on pay and the wider workplace environment.
“We have told the company that such an approach would be more productive and cost-effective than the time, effort and money the company appears to be spending on trying to undermine lawful industrial action.
“Staff at some sites have been asked to go across and cover at sites where industrial action is to take place. ISS has advised that staff will get six days notice and get extra money.
“ISS has asked these staff not to tell anyone connected to the trade unions that they have been asked to strike break. This will be raised at the ISS European works council meeting which is taking place right now.”
Sian McClarence, GMB regional officer, said: "The results of the ballots were overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action and the first strike will take place on 20 June.
“Resorting to industrial action is not something our members ever do lightly, even when taunted. The company has contributed to such a powerful rejection of the pay offer and such a resounding 'yes' for industrial action.”
Unite members are at RAF Valley in Anglesey, RAF Cosford in Shropshire and at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
For more details please contact Sian McClarence, GMB regional officer, on 07966 327 972 or Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or Mike McCartney, Unite national officer, on 07958 514 766. GMB press office 07921 289 880.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.