Unite's pay dispute with the ABL Alliance at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport is to escalate, with around 70 workers set to take strike action.

Unite Scotland members, who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines, will start 24-hour strike action on 16 and 20 December, in addition to an overtime which has been ongoing since 16 November. 

Further days of strike action are scheduled on 11 January, 25 January, 8 February, and 22 February 2022, if there is no progress in pay negotiations. To date, the ABL Alliance employers have refused to meet the RPI inflation pay claim (3.8% - July) made by Unite. 

The ABL Alliance was awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide services for the weapon system at Coulport, as well as the Strategic Weapon Support Building (SWSB) Faslane. The Unite membership involved in the dispute are employed by three separate employers: AWE plc, Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd, and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems Ltd.

Over 90% of Unite’s members based at RNAD Coulport previously voted ‘yes’ in support of strike action, and 95.3% supported action short of a strike, in a 90% ballot turnout in September.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “For months now these extremely profitable companies have dragged their feet over giving our members the fair pay award they deserve. Unite’s priority is to fight for the jobs, pay and conditions of our members, and these highly skilled workers at Coulport and Faslane naval bases have the union’s full support in this dispute.”

Stevie Deans, Unite regional coordinator, added: “The ABL Alliance employers have completely disrespected, undervalued and underappreciated our members. Unite has continually sought to resolve this pay dispute but the ABL Alliance at every stage of the process have seem determined to force an escalation. Our members have been left with no choice but to take strike action in addition to the overtime ban, and we are determined to get the pay rise these workers deserve.”