20 June 2019
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms action by Royal Navy lifeline workers in fight for "fair pay for RFA"
Maritime union RMT confirmed today that it will be embarking upon a programme of industrial action involving nearly 700 workers at the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – the Royal Navy supply lifeline – in a fight for pay justice.
Despite repeated efforts by the union to reach a negotiated solution the employers have instead opted to impose a 1.5% increase, undermining the living standards of a crucial group of workers who have seen service in major trouble spots, including the Falklands and the Gulf, at huge personal risk.
In a ballot of members over the derisory 1.5% offer there was an overwhelming vote for action signalling the strength of feeling amongst the workforce as we now move to into the campaign of industrial action .
Consequently, with effect from 00:01 hours on Tuesday 2nd July 2019, until further notice, RFA members are instructed:-
- Not to come back early from End of Voyage Leave , to join at the correct time and not to volunteer to extend if asked by the company.
- Only to conduct Maritime and Coastguard Agency mandatory safety drills and not to take part in prism serials or any RFA specific drills. This would include any serials undertaken by FOST staff
- Work contracted hours, not to carry out any work over and above contracted hours unless responding to emergencies.
- Catering grade members are not to prepare any food for any social functions i.e. Cocktail parties and social gatherings for ships coming out of refits and stewards should refuse to work these social functions.
- Not to carry out duties that would have been carried out by members of other departments taking industrial action.
Members who are participating in humanitarian and/or disaster relief operations or are reacting to a military conflict situation will be exempt from the above industrial action.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It is disgraceful that our Royal Fleet Auxiliary members, staff delivering the supplies life-line to the Royal Navy that is crucial to our national safety and security, have had a derisory pay increase imposed on them which doesn’t even keep pace with the cost of living. That amounts to a pay cut in real terms and is wholly unacceptable and that is why we are now moving to a programme of industrial action.
“RMT will not stand by while RFA staff are denied basic pay justice. The union has launched a “Fair Pay for RFA” campaign and we have had fantastic public and political support for this essential group of workers. We remain available for genuine and meaningful talks.”