Unite the union has today (Friday 28 January) confirmed that its members who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport have agreed a pay deal.

Around 70 workers at RNAD Coulport will now receive a backdated pay award for 2020 and 2021, which beats the inflation rates applicable to the period. The Unite membership who were involved in the long running dispute are employed by three separate employers: AWE plc, Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd, and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems Ltd.

The ABL Alliance pay deal will include a £600 payment for 2020 along with a 3.5% pay increase effective from 1 August 2021. The award for 2021 represents an increase of between £908-£1,097 dependent upon the specific role of the workers.

Unite’s members had been staging targeted days of 24-hour strike action since 16 December 2021, and have had an overtime ban in place since last November. 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 2021.

Sharon Graham, the General Secretary of Unite, said: 

“This is a substantial victory for Unite members at RNAD Coulport. It shows that when union members organise together and defend their jobs, pay and conditions, it is entirely possible to get intransigent employers to think again. Unite’s pay demands have now been met which will mean that our members will get backdated pay in their pockets of up to £1,700.”

Stevie Deans, Unite regional coordinator, added: “The dispute with the ABL Alliance employers has dragged on far longer than it needed to. This could have been resolved last autumn if there was a willingness by the employers to get this over the line. We hope that this pay deal will set the right tone for this year’s negotiations and the deal is a great example of workers standing up for what they deserve with their union’s support.”