12-week action

Frigate work faces disruption due to strike

Babcock Type 31 frigate

Type 31 frigates are being built at Rosyth

Work on the latest Royal Navy frigates will be disrupted after construction contractor Kaefer voted for 12 weeks of all-out strike action at the Rosyth dockyard.  

About 100 painters, cleaners, scaffolders and support service staff, will take part in the action from 17 April up to 10 July.

Trade union Unite claims the strike action will directly threaten progress on the Type 31 frigates contract. Members emphatically supported strike action by 98.4% after rejecting a 7.2% pay offer.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite’s members working for Kaefer are determined to secure a fair pay deal.

“Kaefer dragged their feet and then made an unacceptable offer following our members’ emphatic decision to vote for strike action.”

Babcock, which owns the Rosyth yard, was contracted as part of the Royal Navy’s £1.25 billion contract for five Type 31 warships in November 2019.

Bob MacGregor, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The workforce are prepared to take 12 weeks all-out strike action to get a decent wage rise. Kaefer just simply doesn’t get it. The company first refused to make any offer for months, and then they panicked following the strike vote.”

He added: “The imminent strike action will have a knock-on effect for the Type 31 contract, and it will undoubtedly lead to significant delays.”

Oil workers strike

Unite has announced an unprecedented 48-hour stoppage in the offshore sector.

About 1,350 workers across five companies will take strike action to demand a better deal on jobs, pay and conditions. 

The trade union predicts the strike action starting on 24 April until 26 April will bring platforms and the offshore installations of major oil and gas operators to a standstill.

Those to be hit include BP, CNRI, EnQuest, Harbour Energy, Ithaca, Shell and Total.

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