Helicopter engineers in Suffolk start industrial action

Civilian engineers at a Suffolk airbase servicing Apache helicopters deployed in Afghanistan and Libya have started industrial action over pay.

Morson Wynnwith engineers at Wattisham claim to be paid £3,000 a year less than staff in Hampshire.

The company said a pay offer had been declined and it was disappointed over the move.

Unite members are refusing overtime and working to rule. The union says it has 100 members among 150 workers.

Unite regional officer Mark Robinson said: "Our members are largely ex-military personnel and do not take these steps lightly."

Morson said it was very disappointed as a pay increase had been tabled earlier this year but this was rejected by union representatives following a ballot.

A spokeswoman said: "Unite has taken the decision to commence industrial action despite agreeing with Morson in July to undertake an independent review with representatives from the conciliation service Acas.

"This review will be completed by 13 October and as a result no formal meeting was agreed with Unite. The company remains fully committed to resolving this dispute amicably."

Staff voted 71 to 14 in favour of strike action while 81 were in favour of action short of a strike.

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