Lighthouse workers in Scotland will strike on Thursday as they seek an improvement on a 2% pay offer from the UK Department for Transport and the Lights Advisory Committee.

Around 40 Unite members working for the Northern Lighthouse Board including able seamen, base assistants, cooks and technicians will take 24-hour strike action beginning at noon and lasting for 24 hours.

The NLB maintains 208 lighthouses across Scotland and the Isle of Man, and the action follows a previous strike from June 26 to 27.

The organisation is funded from Light Dues, a tax collected from the users of the body’s aids to navigation. An annual process takes place to agree a 5-year plan which is scrutinised and approved by both the UK Department for Transport and the Lights Advisory Committee - who represent those who pay Light Dues.

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The NLB has two vessels based in Oban: NLV Pharos and NLV Pole Star. Both vessels will be docked there and picket lines will be in place on both days of the action (27 and 28 July) at the Gallanach Road base.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s NLB members will take part in a second wave of strike action.

"At the heart of this dispute is an unacceptable 2% pay offer which does absolutely nothing to help keep families and households afloat during the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.

"Unite will continue to push the boat out in defence of our members’ jobs, pay and conditions.” 

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In April, Unite announced that its NLB members voted to support taking strike action by 90.6% on a turnout of 86.5%.

Unite members have rejected a 2% pay offer and one-off cash payments as unacceptable. The union said the NLB offer remains below the pay offers made to other public sector organisations and follows a pay freeze last year.

Unite industrial officer, Alison MacLean, added: “Unite’s members at the NLB remain steadfast. They refuse to be pushed overboard to sink under this cost of living crisis. The UK Government must provide the extra finances required to support the NLB.

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"We also repeat our demand that the Scottish Government intervene in the dispute or it will continued to be moored in Scottish waters.”

The Northern Lighthouse Board said: “We sympathise with the cost-of-living pressures our staff face, but the Northern Lighthouse Board is bound entirely by UK Government pay policy.

“The current pay award was subject to an exhaustive Department for Transport (DfT) approval process, which leaves us with no room for manoeuvre.

“We have put contingency measures in place to ensure mariners are provided with an effective safety of navigation service while the action is underway.”