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Strike threat to frigate manufacturing at BAE

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Strike threat to frigate manufacturing at BAE as “two-tier” pay row for store workers goes to ACAS

GMB has warned today (Thursday 13 October) the frigate manufacturing programme at BAE Systems on the Upper Clyde could be stalled by strike action next week, unless conciliation talks with

subcontractor firm Wincanton deliver an improved pay offer for fifty store operatives.

Ahead of a planned 24-hour strike from 06.00 hours on Wednesday 19 October, union reps will attend ACAS this Monday seeking to end a two-tier pay structure among store operatives who distribute trades and safety equipment to workers at the Govan and Scotstoun yards.

A pay gap of over £4 an hour exists, with majority of subcontractors currently paid just £9.90 an hour while a dozen staff previously transferred from BAE Systems are paid over £14 an hour. GMB is calling on Wincanton to equalise the hourly rate and the value of this year’s pay offer for all staff.

Over 95 per cent of members previously voted to support strikes against the pay policy in a full statutory industrial action ballot.

GMB Scotland Organiser Dominic Pritchard warned:

“A stores strike will mean shipbuilders won’t have the tools and PPE to do their jobs, so manufacturing on the warships that Britain needs will stall unless Wincanton and BAE value our members fairly and better for the work they do.

“The frigate programme is worth billions and vital to our future security, but it is an affront to UK shipbuilding that we have workers receiving less than £10 an hour while supporting large-scale defence projects.

“Compounding the problem is the fact that Wincanton and BAE Systems have knowingly allowed this pay gap to fester between store operatives doing the same job when both firms could easily afford to lift-up wages for everyone. 

“These workers are struggling to stay above the breadline in the grip of this cost-of-living crisis, so if the employers want to avoid a strike next week, they must table fresh proposals that will tackle the in-work poverty and pay inequality facing our members.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Dominic Pritchard on 07587 405105 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.