Serco workers on Ministry of Defence (MoD) contracts at three Lincolnshire RAF bases are set to stage two 24 hour strikes in their stepped-up campaign against a paltry one per cent pay offer.
More than 100 employees, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, at the Cranwell, Scampton and Digby bases will strike on Friday 23 August and Tuesday 27 August from 00.01 on the two days.
The strikes will run in tandem with the overtime ban which started on 9 August and will cause, said the union, severe disruption to the running of the bases.
The jobs that Unite members do at the bases include fire and ambulance services, aircraft servicing, HGV and car drivers, and warehousing essential weapons.
The members had voted by a margin of 89 per cent to take industrial action, after rejecting the below inflation one per cent pay offer for 2013.
Unite points out that Serco has increased its number of contracts and makes handsome profits, as well as awarding a massive £4 million bonus to CEO Chris Hayman to top up his £700,000 salary, which equates to a 471 per cent increase in earnings.
In stark contrast, Unite members, who support and maintain the service sections for the MoD, via Serco, earn an average £18,000-a-year.
Unite regional officer Steve Syson, said: “Our members are reluctantly taking strike action on 23 and 27 August because their living standards are being pushed to the wall.
“It will cause a great deal of disruption to the smooth running of the three RAF bases.
“While Serco’s bosses are enjoying lottery winning levels on bonuses our members can only dream of and very generous remuneration packages, our members are struggling on £18,000-a-year, as energy, transport and food bills go through the roof.
“This industrial action comes against a background of job reductions at the bases and the introduction of zero hours contracts which have resulted in increasing workloads for remaining staff and decreasing real pay in their pockets to support their families.
“We remain committed to seeking a resolution to this dispute and Serco needs to recognise the importance that staff have played in making the company a success and give them the decent pay rise they so richly deserve.
“We would urge the company to engage in meaningful negotiations and avoid disruptive action.”
For further information please contact 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.