RAF civilian staff strike over pay

Unite rep

Hundreds of cleaners, chefs, drivers and other civilian workers at RAF stations will go on strike in a row over pay.

Members of the GMB and Unite unions at eight sites, including Valley in North Wales where the Duke of Cambridge is based, will walk out for 24 hours, with further stoppages expected.
The unions are in dispute with contractor ISS after saying they had been offered a pay rise of 8p an hour, and only 2p for those on the national minimum wage.

Other bases affected by the strike are Cranwell, Scampton and Kirton-in-Lindsey in Lincolnshire, Shawbury and Cosford in Shropshire, Llanwrst in Conwy and Fairbourne in Gwynedd.
Sian McClarence, GMB regional officer, said: "Members are so incensed by the contempt that ISS have shown to them that I don't doubt there will be further action until they come back to the table and have some meaningful negotiation with us."

Unite national officer Mike McCartney said: "ISS seem more intent on strike-breaking than dispute resolution."

A spokesman for ISS said: "Throughout this process we have maintained discussions with our employees and their elected representatives.

"As such, we are disappointed that a small minority of our staff employed on the RAF contract - 120 of our more than 3,000 employees supporting the RAF - has voted in favour of strike action, having rejected our offer of increased pay.

"The pay offer is equivalent to an overall 1% increase and has already been implemented, including back pay. Comparable employees across the remainder of our contract (with) the RAF recently accepted the same offer. Our offer is consistent with pay offers made to the armed forces (and the public sector in general) and reflects the pressure on public sector funding.

"Those who have voted for strike action have enjoyed pay increases above the average in recent years and far in excess of those received by other public sector workers, including many of the armed services personnel they support. We do not anticipate that this proposed action will affect the smooth running of our operations or those of the RAF."

© 2013 Press Association
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