Employer in ‘bussing’ row to break ‘8p an hour’ strike...

Employer in ‘bussing’ row to break ‘8p an hour’ strike at RAF stations

18 June 2013

The firm at the centre of the ‘8p an hour’ pay dispute at eight RAF stations has been accused of trying to break Thursday’s (20 June) strike by bussing in workers from as far away as Scotland.

Unite, the largest union in the country, said it understood that the employer ISS was bringing in service personnel at double pay to disrupt the action by 240 GMB and Unite members who provide food services, cleaning, and other services at the RAF stations in England and Wales. ISS workers were also understood to be coming from Scotland and Cornwall.

ISS has 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, who voted for strike action on Thursday.

Mike McCartney, Unite national officer for Ministry of Defence members, said: “It appears that ISS is making a concerted and inflammatory move to break this strike, while not moving one inch on its offer of an insulting 8p an hour.

“Such actions will do nothing to solve this dispute. The unions have repeatedly called for the dispute to be referred to the conciliation service Acas – but the hardline management has refused. 

“We understand that management is bussing in service personnel to strike break at double pay. Normal rates of pay for our members are about £7.40 per hour – but double for servicemen at £15 per hour.

“We also understand that managers are bringing in ISS staff from Scotland, who are on zero hours contracts, paying them three days pay, plus associated expenses. This is nearly an 800 mile round trip.

“Such action by the bosses is a throwback to Victorian times and should be utterly condemned. These underhand tactics will not weaken our members’ resolve for pay justice.”

The strike action will be taken by members employed by ISS at the following 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. Unite members are at RAF Valley, RAF Cosford and at RAF Cranwell.

Members undertake the following roles on the ISS contract: 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.


For further information please contact Mike McCartney on 07958 514 766 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.