Commenting on the strike action set to take place by hundreds of Unite the Union members at the Coulport and Faslane nuclear naval bases on the Clyde today, Scottish Labour deputy leader and MSP for Dumbarton Jackie Baillie said: “Unite members have spoken loud and clear but industrial action is not inevitable if Babcock returns to the negotiating table and engages with the workforce.
“This is a crucial time for the future of contracts at Faslane and Coulport and it is important that staff terms and conditions are not eroded if contracts change hands. Babcock Marine must work with employees and get back around the negotiating table to solve this dispute.”
Stephen Deans, Unite regional co-ordinating officer, said: “The strike action set to take place at the Clyde nuclear naval bases falls fully on the shoulders of Babcock Marine management. Unite representatives have for a number of weeks sought to resolve this dispute. However, the company has taken the deliberate decision to escalate this dispute by refusing to meaningfully engage with us on pay and the future workplace relations at the bases.
“Any day now we are about to receive the outcome of the Ministry of Defence’s Future Maritime Support Programme, which is potentially worth up to £200m on the Clyde. Instead of discussing with Unite how we can work together following this major decision, Babcock Marine has ignored us and ultimately the workforce. Babcock Marine can pull this situation back from the brink if they finally get back to negotiating with us, but if they do not, then strike action involving hundreds of workers will continue until management see sense.”