Strikes at nuclear naval bases loom as 600 workers balloted

The members are employed by Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd who undertake 'specialist services' for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines.

Strikes at Coulport and Faslane nuclear naval bases loom as 600 Unite the Union members balloted Getty Images

Potential strikes at Scotland’s biggest nuclear naval bases are looming with 600 workers balloted for industrial action.

Unite the Union confirmed on Monday that its members at the Coulport and Faslane naval bases on the River Clyde will be balloted on industrial action amid an ongoing dispute over pay.

The members are employed by Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd who undertake “specialist services” for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines.

A pay offer amounting to a 7% increase backdated to August 2023, and 3% for the next pay round effective from August this year was rejected by 99% of members.

Unite said the offer represents a “substantial pay cut” in line with inflation, and a ballot for action at the bases will close on June 11.

Unite claims Babcock Marine made nearly £45m in profit after tax over the 2018 to 2022.MOD

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s membership at Coulport and Faslane fully deserve a fair pay increase.

“Babcock Marine is a wealthy company that can easily afford to make a decent offer to its workers.

“Pay offers which in real terms amount to sizeable pay cuts, just won’t cut it. We will support our members’ fight for better jobs, pay and conditions all the way.”

Unite claims Babcock made nearly £45m in profit after tax over the 2018 to 2022 period.

James O’Connell, Unite industrial officer, added: “Babcock Marine need to get serious about its pay offer or face significant disruption as a result of industrial action.

“Babcock Marine must take the opportunity to make a decent offer, but they should be under no illusions as to the determination of our members to get what they deserve.”

Babcock Marine was awarded a contract in March 2021 by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide services for the nuclear weapon system at Coulport.

The Future Maritime Support Programme (FMSP) is estimated to be worth around £3.5bn and is due to run until March 2026.

The programme includes UK naval base operations at HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport.

A spokesperson for Babcock Marine said: “We are disappointed that we have been unable to reach an agreement at this stage, however, we remain committed to ongoing engagement with Unite representatives to find a mutually acceptable resolution.”

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