Unite workers at Babcock approve new agreement


The labour dispute between IndustriALL UK affiliate Unite members at Faslane and Coulport royal navy facilities and their employer Babcock has successfully finished after three weeks of industrial action.

Unite announced the results of the vote on 3 April, the day after the vote. The vast majority of workers of Faslane and Coulport at Babcock Marine on the Clyde approved the considerably improved pay offer of 2.7 per cent rise.

The dispute involving over 800 Unite members employed in different jobs from hotel and catering staff to those handling nuclear weapons, started after the Babcock management failed to offer a fair deal to the workers.

Babcock made an initial offer of 1 per cent increase, and referred to impossibility of further increase because of the contracts signed with the Ministry of Defence.

The offer was not good enough for the members and the first action for 42 years erupted. 

The action consisted of a two-hour strike of the whole workforce and then a rolling programme of one hour strikes across the sites every 24 hours, plus an overtime ban and a work to rule.

Unite Convenor at Backcock Marine Derek Torrie said, “As well as paying tribute to the magnificent solidarity of our members at Faslane and Coulport which led to Babcock making an improved offer which has now been accepted I also have to say a massive thanks for all the messages of support and offers of assistance from Unite branches, workplaces and from individual members.

In addition to the support from within the UK the international messages from the USA, Brazil, South Africa and Finland were inspiring and uplifting in terms of maintaining and raising the morale of the workforce.

Together we have succeeded and this has been a true demonstration that unity is truly our strength.”