Glasgow & West Scotland

Faslane and Coulport staff discuss strike dates

submarine at faslane Image copyright PA
Image caption Unite members overwhelmingly backed strike action in a ballot last week

Hundreds of workers at the Faslane and Coulport naval and armament bases on the Clyde are to hold a mass meeting to discuss potential strike dates.

The Unite union said Tuesday's meeting was in response to operator Babcock Marine refusing to enter conciliation talks.

The dispute centres on a below-inflation pay offer of 1%.

Faslane is home to the UK's fleet of Trident nuclear submarines.

Unite members at the two bases voted overwhelmingly for potential strike action in a ballot last week, with 95% of members backing strikes on an 82% turnout.

Any industrial action is likely to involve submarine maintenance teams and workers who monitor radiation levels.

'Alarm bells'

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: "Babcock knows this pay imposition is completely unacceptable to the workforce but its refusal to enter into conciliation at Acas is baffling."

The union said it was now asking Babcock to evidence the company's claims that the 1% pay increase imposition was a result of MoD contractual stipulations.

Mr Waddell added: "Alarm bells at the MoD must be ringing when we have pay disparity across nuclear submarine bases operated by the same private sector contractor, that can easily pay more, hiding behind the UK government's own public pay cap to impose cuts on its Clydeside workers - many of whom are employed in safety critical roles."

Following last week's vote in favour of strike action, a spokesman for Babcock said: "Discussions on pay negotiations are a matter for Babcock and our employees and we continue to try to find a way forward."

The MoD said it had "robust contingency plans" in place to deal with any strike by civilian staff at the bases.