Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will mark World Toilet Day (Saturday 19 November) with a protest outside RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, due to the Ministry of Defence’s failure to provide decent toilets for workers.

WHEN: 09:30 hrs Saturday 19 November 2022

WHERE: RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8HB

For eight years firefighters at the base have been complaining about inadequate toilet and shower facilities but the Ministry of Defence has failed to make any progress.

Lack of toilets

The problem first arose when the first female civilian firefighters were recruited to the base in 2014. It became apparent the ageing facilities in place were not fit for purpose and were not adequate for unisex use.

The firefighters' union, Unite, has secured the support of Capita, which is responsible for managing the outsourced firefighter’s contract. Capita has offered to procure a temporary separate facility attached to the firefighter centre at RAF Cranwell. But due to red tape put forward by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which is an arm of the Ministry of Defence, a workable solution has been blocked.


Unite regional officer Paula Stephens said: “It is disgusting that after eight years the MoD has failed to ensure that our members at RAF Cranwell can have toilet dignity. The failure to provide decent toilets is an attack on our members’ basic human rights.

 “The MoD should be ashamed of its actions and immediately remove the blockage which is preventing adequate facilities being provided at RAF Cranwell. The MoD also needs to ensure that similar problems at other bases are also rapidly resolved.”

Not unique

Although Unite is holding a protest at RAF Cranwell, the problem is not unique to the airbase. Across the UK, other female civilian MoD workers, especially those working as firefighters, have reported similar problems.

World Toilet Day is recognised by the United Nations and highlights the 3.6 billion people who are forced to live with poor quality toilets.


Notes to editors:

Toilet Dignity campaign

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.