Kent staff at army training ranges strike tomorrow
19 November 2014
About 80 workers employed by Landmarc at the Hythe and Lydd ranges in Kent will be taking part in a day’s strike action tomorrow (Thursday 20 November) in the continuing dispute over handing the ranges to the military.
Unite, the country’s largest union which represents the rangers, believes that such a handover could result in a fatality because of reduced staffing levels.
They are taking action from 07.00 to 13.00 tomorrow and also on 25 November when the ranges are fully booked and industrial action will cause maximum disruption.
Members are also in dispute with their employer due to them refusing to recognise their TUPE terms and conditions.
Bob Middleton, lead officer for Unite members said: “Landmarc has made a number of detrimental decisions regarding the new contract it was awarded from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and expects Unite members to simply accept them.
“We are not prepared to accept any change to the terms and conditions of our members which has an impact on their safety at work and reduces their salary.
“Landmarc has already dismissed our members on their recognised terms and conditions with a view to reemploying them on lesser pay and conditions.”
Unite already staged a strike of its 325 members at Landmarc Support Services across the country on 3 November in a dispute about proposed redundancies, safety issues and lack of consultation.
Unite said that the core of the dispute was the lowest possible bid put in by Landmarc to secure the five-year contract, after the company feared that it was going to lose the contract it had held for a decade.
Unite understands that there will be a loss of 370 positions, bringing the UK workforce at the ranges down to about 1,000.
Unite has already written to the MOD HR department asking for the contract to be reviewed, particularly the decision to handover the running of the ranges to service personnel.
The jobs covered by Unite members include range wardens, technicians, administrators and estate workers.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
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.