Scots Ministry of Defence munition workers to strike in row over bonuses

Non-craft staff are to demonstrate outside the sit in Beith over the 'unfair' scheme on Friday.

Munition workers at MoD site in Beith, North Ayrshire to strike over bonuses row Google Maps

Staff at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) munitions depot are to walk out in a row over bonuses.

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

Around 40 workers are to take part in demonstrations outside the depot on Friday and Monday.

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

GMB Scotland said non-craft workers at the base, who prepare arms and munitions for transport, are being refused the same retention bonuses as managers and craft workers, who assemble munitions for the armed forces.

The union said limiting extra payments, intended to reward staff through busy periods only to some workers has “created division and ill-will.”

GMB Scotland organiser Chris Kennedy said: “Our members deserve equal recognition and fair compensation for their invaluable contributions to DES and our armed forces. Without them, equipment would not reach those who need it.

“We deeply regret that it has come to this point where our hardworking non-craft members have been compelled to take industrial action. Our members do vital work and are in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis.

“Management have failed to respect and recognise the invaluable work our members do. This can only be achieved with a bonus scheme that is fair to all and therefore must include non-craft workers.

“The defence secretary cannot wash his hands of the matter. His intervention is essential to deliver parity, fairness and equality and bring an end the dispute.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “Pre-planned contingency measures are being implemented at DM Beith to ensure the continued operation of the site. We remain open to dialogue with GMB to discuss the issues raised and work towards resolving them.”

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