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Crunch meeting for strike action dates by Unite and GM...

Crunch meeting for strike action dates by Unite and GMB at eight RAF stations in pay dispute

11 June 2013
ISS was notified of the ballot results two weeks ago and despite an overwhelming "yes" vote for industrial action we haven't heard a peep back from ISS, say the unions

GMB and Unite officers are to meet later today (11 June) to fix dates for strike action for 240 members employed by contactor ISS, which provides food services, cleaning, and other services at eight RAF stations in England and Wales who last month voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay.

The official strike ballot concluded on 28 May. ISS was notified of the ballot result and the unions asked for more talks. The unions are meeting as 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-Lindsay in Lincolnshire, Valley in Anglesey, Shawbury and Cosford in Shropshire, Llanwryst 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 “If ISS is not prepared to talk, then there is no alternative, but call a strike.

“We call on ISS to sit down under the auspices of the conciliation service, ACAS to negotiate in a genuine and meaningful fashion. Our members think that the current offer of 8p an hour is an insult.

“We believe that ISS will try to tough this out with a very hardline attitude. We understand that ISS is trying to recruit existing ISS workers on other ISS/RAF contracts, so they can bus in workers to carry out duties, such as summer balls and other relevant RAF events.

“Such underhand tactics are to be deplored and do nothing to help resolve this dispute."

Sian McClarence, GMB regional officer said: "We notified ISS of the ballot results two weeks ago.  Despite an overwhelming "yes" vote for industrial action we haven't heard a peep back from ISS.

“Therefore GMB and Unite will be meeting later today to set the date for the first strike."

Unite members are at RAF Valley in Anglesey, RAF Cosford in Shropshire and at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Ends

For further information:

Sian McClarence, GMB regional officer 07966 327972 or Justin Bowden 07710 631351 or Mike McCartney, Unite national officer 07958 514766. GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823