Pay Justice for RFA

Pay Justice for RFA

RFA have offered a one year deal of 4.5 percent which is unacceptable to RMT members.


The union’s National Executive Committee has considered the matter once more and it is calling on all RFA members to take the following strike action:


  • If your ship is in port DO NOT TURN TO for any duty that commences between 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Friday 26th July 2024 and Thursday 1st August 2024.


NB:  During the above period of strike action members must ensure that the safety of the ship is maintained, including Moorings and Gangways, at all times.


I have no doubt that our members will support the above strike action and show RFA that we are determined to continue our fight for pay justice.

Update for RFA members 11 July 2024

Dear Colleague

I am writing to update you on the discussions which were held at the MoD yesterday between your union and the new Armed Forces Minister in the Labour Government, Luke Pollard MP, regarding the 2023-24 pay dispute with Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and the future of the RFA. 

RMT reminded the Minister of the background to this dispute and the urgent need for a resolution. The Minister respected our members’ decision to take industrial action over the imposition of the sub inflation 4.5% increase in 2023-24 and it was made very clear, to the RFA unions and RN officials in attendance, that the new Government is looking for a swift resolution to this dispute. We now await an offer before 26th July, when our RFA members will take a third day of industrial action in this dispute, unless a decent offer is submitted by the employer. 

It was also clear from the Minister’s detailed comments that the Labour Government is committed to working with the RMT to resolve the current pay dispute and to engaging constructively with the maritime unions to recruit more Ratings in re-building the RFA as we enter a period in which Government and the RN expect to be even more reliant on the hard work and dedication of the RFA’s merchant seafarers.

The Minister also confirmed that the RFA would be included in the Defence Review which he announced yesterday. RMT will be putting together a comprehensive case for reforms that preserve the operational flexibility of the RFA fleet whilst improving fleet readiness and ensures that RFA merchant seafarers are treated, by the RN in particular, with the dignity and respect that your hard work on behalf of the country so richly deserves.

Yesterday’s meeting was a breath of fresh air, compared with the previous fourteen years of antagonism and neglect by the employer under the direction of the RN and the previous Government. The process for circulating the 2023-24 offer, which we expect to come out of the RN budget is being finalised but the Minister was categorically clear in his instruction to his officials that the RMT and Nautilus must be talking to the right people in the RFA, RN and the MoD over the coming weeks. 

We welcome that clear signal of support for developing an offer that we can put to our RFA members and what it says about the improvements to industrial relations in the RFA which have also declined in the last decade or so.

I have also spoken on the phone with the Secretary of State for Defence, John Healey MP, who is attending the NATO meeting in Washington DC and could not attend yesterday’s meeting. The Secretary of State is also keen to resolve the current dispute and is committed to tackling the long-term challenges facing the RFA. We should also see that as a positive signal.

It is also positive to see an increase in RMT membership in the RFA, and I strongly encourage all RFA members to actively recruit any potential members to join RMT to develop our collective strength through increased membership.

RMT remain steadfast in our determination to deliver RFA members an improved offer in the 2023-24 pay dispute and to beginning a new era of respect and co-operation in the MoD to reflect the interests of RFA’s hard working seafarers.

You will be kept fully informed of all further developments over the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely


Michael Lynch

General Secretary

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