Nearly 700 Royal Fleet Auxiliary sailors, members of the RMT union, are to take industrial action from 2 July in a dispute over pay. They have been offered a pay rise of just 1.5 per cent. The action is until further notice.
They will be working contracted hours only, turning down requests to come back early from shore leave, and refusing to cater for social events such as officers’ cocktail parties – though there may be exemptions for members whose ships are involved in humanitarian relief or military action.
“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," said RMT general secretary Mick Cash. "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."
The union has launched a “Fair Pay for RFA” campaign, and reports that it has had “fantastic” public and political support for this essential group of workers. It remains available for “genuine and meaningful talks”.