UK

Defence staff holding four-day strike over pay

Army jeeps in Helmand Image copyright PA
Image caption The Defence Support Group maintains, repairs and procures equipment for the Ministry of Defence

Hundreds of defence workers are staging a four-day strike in a pay dispute.

Members of the Unite union at the Defence Support Group walked out at 00:01 GMT in protest at an offer of a 1% increase.

The group - which maintains, repairs and procures equipment for the Ministry of Defence - is being sold off to the private sector next year.

The workers held a 24-hour strike in October. The Ministry of Defence says its operations will not be affected.

The main sites affected by the industrial action will be Bovington, Dorset; Catterick, North Yorkshire; Colchester, Essex; Donnington, Shropshire; Stirling and Warminster, Wiltshire.

The strike will end at 23:59 GMT on Thursday.

Unite national officer Mike McCartney said feelings were running high because of the "insulting" pay offer and the "uncertain future" the workers faced.

"With the sale of DSG to the private sector looming, our members want to take a decent rate of pay which can be consolidated for pension purposes to their new employer," he said.

"The 1% offer is a real terms pay cut and for many workers feels like a final act of betrayal. The current DSG management can afford to give a decent pay rise to the workers who have made DSG such a success story in supporting our armed forces."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "It is disappointing that Unite is pressing ahead with strike action over a proposed 1% pay rise, which is in line with the offer to the wider civil service.

"The public can rest assured this industrial action will have no impact on ongoing military operations or capability."

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