Lighthouse workers resume second wave of strikes amid pay dispute

Seafarers, base assistants, cooks and technicians to walk out for a second time after being offered a 2% pay rise.

Unite the union lighthouse workers resume second wave of strike action amid ongoing pay dispute UniteScotland

Lighthouse workers are to take part in a second wave of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay.

Unite the union confirmed that its Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) members will resume a 24-hour strike on Thursday.

Around 40 Unite members including able seamen, base assistants, cooks and technicians will walk out, with the action ending the following day at noon.

The latest strike action follows a previous 24-hour stoppage over June 26-27.

The workers, who ensure the safety of shipping in Scottish waters, voted to take the first strike action in the board’s 247-year history in April after being offered a 2% pay rise amid double-digit inflation.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “At the heart of this dispute is an unacceptable 2% pay offer which does absolutely nothing to help keep families and households afloat during the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. 

“Unite will continue to push the boat out in defence of our members’ jobs, pay and conditions.” 

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse on Shetland

The NLB maintains 208 lighthouses across Scotland and the Isle of Man.

The lighthouses are situated in some of the most remote and beautiful locations in Scotland, and guided sea mariners for over two centuries.

The workers maintain and operate Scotland’s lighthouses, beacons and buoys at sea ensuring that vessels and ships have safe passage through Scottish waters.

The NLB’s mainland operations are based at its Edinburgh HQ, and in Oban where there are maintenance workshops and facilities for the construction of beacons and buoys.

NLB technicians are also based in Inverness, Shetland and Orkney.

The NLB’s has two vessels based in Oban, NLV PHAROS and NLV POLE STAR. 

Both vessels will be docked at Oban and picket lines will be in place on Thursday and Friday (July 27 and 28) at the Gallanach Road base.

Unite industrial officer, Alison MacLean, added: “Unite’s members at the NLB remain steadfast. They refuse to be pushed overboard to sink under this cost of living crisis.

“The UK Government must provide the extra finances required to support the NLB. We also repeat our demand that the Scottish Government intervene in the dispute or it will continued to be moored in Scottish waters.”

In April, Unite disclosed that its NLB members voted to support taking strike action by 90.6% in a turnout of 86.5%.”

The Northern Lighthouse Board said: “We sympathise with the cost-of-living pressures our staff face, but the Northern Lighthouse Board is bound entirely by UK Government pay policy.

“The current pay award was subject to an exhaustive Department for Transport (DfT) approval process, which leaves us with no room for manoeuvre.

“We have put contingency measures in place to ensure mariners are provided with an effective safety of navigation service while the action is underway.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in