Workers at Ministry of Defence munitions depot vote to strike

GMB members at the depot voted in favour of strike action by 93%.

GMB members at Beith Ministry of Defence munitions depot vote to strike Google Maps

GMB Scotland members at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) munitions depot are preparing for unprecedented strike action.

Members at the Defence Equipment and Support (DES) depot in Beith voted in favour of strike action by 93% over a dispute on retention bonuses. 

It comes after the union accused that managers and craft workers at the depot of receiving bonuses whilst non-craft workers do not.

The union says that there is culture within the depot which has created a two-tier system where non-craft workers are treated as second class.

DES is an arm’s length body of the MoD which delivers equipment and support services to the UK armed forces.

GMB Scotland organiser, Chris Kennedy said: “Our members at the Beith depot work day in and day out to ensure munitions and equipment are readily available to our armed forces to defend UK security. Without our members, the depots would not function. They deserve to be recognised for that work and to be treated fairly and equally.

“We have called for the UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace MP, to intervene and deliver parity for our members. Without his intervention, our members at Beith will take unprecedented strike action on his watch – the first in the history of DES.

“A two-tier system is totally unjustifiable – especially when all staff work hard to support our armed forces and all staff are facing the deepening cost-of-living crisis. Our members deserve equal treatment for the vital work they do.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “We have been advised by the GMB that they have achieved a mandate for Industrial Action and Action short of a Strike. We remain open to dialogue with GMB to discuss the issues raised and work towards resolving.

“In the event of industrial action, pre-planned contingency measures would be implemented to ensure the continued operation of the site.”

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