Massive Vote for Industrial Action at Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Massive Vote for Industrial Action at Royal Fleet Auxiliary

6 May 2015

RMT Press Office

MARITIME UNION RMT confirmed today that members working for the Royal Navy’s lifeline supply operation the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have voted by massive majorities for both strike action and action short of a strike.

The background to the current dispute is rooted in the managements attempt to bulldoze through major changes that would hit staff across the board.

Following lengthy discussions between RMT and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – the supply arm of the Royal Navy -  RMT members rejected the proposed Future Development Programme.

As a result of the RFA’s intention to proceed with implementation of the programme without agreement from RMT the union put the matter into dispute and confirmed that it would be balloting members for industrial action. That ballot has now concluded and has delivered a massive mandate for action.
The issues leading to this dispute include:-
•    A failure to agree over banding in the competency based system. RMT believes that all existing employees should be band A or B and new entrants should be band C.
•    Apprenticeship terms and conditions have not been agreed with RMT and we believe further work needs to be done on the Under 18’s Policy and Hours of Work for Under 18’s.
•    Future employment of Leading Hands (administrative assistants and stores accounts). We do not accept the increased workload placed on the stores accounts members and admin assistants should be retained.
•    Tailored Schemes of Complements. A failure by RFA to provide written assurances that members’ will be deployed in the ‘right place at the right time’. We do not accept that the staffing levels proposed on TSoC vessels are adequate.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“It is unfortunate that the RFA have refused to listen to our concerns in face to face talks and have forced us into a position where we had no alternative but to move to an industrial action ballot. That ballot has now delivered a massive mandate for action and the union’s executive will consider the next moves.
“The issues in dispute are all about valuing a workforce that plays an integral part of the defence of the UK and training that workforce for the future.
"RMT remains available for talks.”

Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary, added:
"We understand the importance of the role that every RFA seafarer plays in supporting our Royal Navy, but we fail to understand how the employer can make such massive distinctions between ranks in RFA.

"When it comes to issue of pay and bonus's there is no fairness or equity and they expect the lower rank of rating to fund the higher rank of officer, something we are not prepared to accept.

"They now need to recognise the anger that these issues have generated, anger reflected in this ballot, and take urgent and appropriate action to resolve our grievances.”


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