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Cleaners Living Wage Fight On Upper Clyde Could Halt Royal Navy Frigate Build

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Cleaners Living Wage Fight On Upper Clyde Could Halt Royal Navy Frigate Build

Work on the Type-26 Frigate at BAE shipyards in Govan and Scotstoun could be ground to a halt by industrial action later this summer, as cleaners fighting for a living wage begin a two-week consultative ballot today (Tuesday 6 July).

Emcor UK sub-contractor staff on hourly wages of no more than £8.91 an hour (the national minimum wage for workers aged 23 and over) are being asked by their union GMB Scotland if they want to move to a full industrial action ballot over their pay and conditions.

Management has so far refused to increase the hourly pay of staff, predominantly women, beyond the statutory minimum and are stonewalling the union’s request for the full implementation of the real Living Wage rate of £9.50 an hour.

Emcor UK, part of the US- based Emcor group which generated revenues of over $8 billion last year, provides facilities management services for the British multi-national aerospace and shipbuilding giant, including sanitation measures for COVID-19 mitigation on site.

GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook said:

“There is a real prospect of halting work on the delivery of the Royal Navy Type-26 Frigate programme because of Emcor’s refusal to pay their industrial cleaners a living wage, and BAE’s failure to demand it as standard from its sub-contractor.

“Contracts worth billions of pounds in taxpayers’ money flow through these yards, so it’s shameful there are workers on the Upper Clyde being paid no more than the legal hourly minimum wage for their labour.

“These workers are part of a process that’s delivering Britain’s naval future and they have worked diligently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the Govan and Scotstoun yards clean and safe.

“They deserve better than to be treated as the poor relations of our shipbuilding sector and between Emcor and BAE, multi-national firms worth billions, it wouldn’t amount to a drop in the ocean to lift these workers out of poverty pay.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook on 07712 677594 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.