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Faslane workers to strike over pay

Hundreds of workers at the Faslane nuclear base will go on strike tomorrow and take other forms of industrial action after rejecting a "derisory" pay offer.

Unite suspended a planned stoppage last month at the site on the Clyde in Scotland but has revived action after most of its members turned down a 2% offer.

A two hour walkout will be held from 10am at Faslane and at the Coulport naval base, followed by "staged stoppages" from Wednesday as well as a work to rule and overtime ban.

The dispute is between Unite and contractors Babcock, which the union claimed was paying "eye watering" bonuses to top directors.

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: "Quite simply workers on the Clyde have had enough - enough of below inflation pay deals, enough of one-off pay inducements and enough of an employer that wants to impose instead of negotiating.

"We are now in the ridiculous situation where Babcock's top four directors are sharing a £7 million bonus pot and making merry with 9% increases to their six-figure salaries yet the company refuses to negotiate a basic, one year deal that helps our members match the cost-of-living.

"The disparity is beyond a joke now for workers on the Clyde who have fallen behind their industry's average pay rates following four years of real-terms pay cuts despite doing everything to help this private sector giant fulfil its business objectives.

"The chickens are coming home to roost for Babcock Marine on the Clyde, which has been well warned about the ramifications of its grossly unfair pay policies, and its workers are no longer prepared to play the part of the poor relations in this highly profitable company."

Babcock has said it was "surprised" by Unite's decision, adding: "We have engaged with our trades unions and carefully listened to their specific concerns.

"We have gone back to them with a new multi-year deal which significantly increases the consolidated pay element at their request and provides an opportunity for further reward. This means that over the last three years, including the 2013 pay deal on offer, our industrial workforce would have received total consolidated pay increases of 8% as well as one-off payments totalling £1,150, well above the UK national average pay increase during the same period.

"We believe this to be a fair and reasonable offer and are very disappointed by the decision to flatly refuse this offer and proceed with industrial action."

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