My Union and I are on strike over a below inflation payrise that has been imposed upon us.
Initial reports say that 1000 staff failed to report for work today at my place of work.
I was supposed to be manning a picket line, but my Doctor told me I wasn't physically able to stand int eh cold and wet for 3 hours so told me not too. So I stayed at home, got the tyres changed on my car an fletched a few arrows.
Full Stry from my unions web pages...http://www.prospect.org.uk
Thousands join strike by MOD professionals
Thousands of specialists, engineers and managers from the Ministry of Defence took strike action today in protest at a below inflation 2.5 per cent pay offer for 2006-07.
Their union Prospect estimates that at least 80 per cent of Prospect members stayed away from work in their campaign against the government's programme of pay restraint, job cuts and privatisation in MOD.
Civilian staff picketed at least 120 MOD sites across the UK including naval bases, RAF stations, maintenance workshops, training establishments, telecoms facilities, stores depots and other establishments. Six thousand specialists in Prospect are affected by the dispute, which is over a pay offer overdue from August 2006.
By agreement with Defence Secretary Des Browne, 65 staff in key safety and operational roles were exempted from the action, so as not to jeopardise essential functions.
Main centres of action today were at:
Defence Procurement Agency HQ, Abbey Wood, Bristol – excellent response from procurement specialists supervising commercial contracts. All three gates were picketed and almost 1,000 staff stayed away from work. Nearby DPA site at Foxhill, Bath, hit as 200 technical services staff working on equipment testing and measurement stayed at home.
Faslane/Coulport Naval Base, Clyde – big turn-out from members forced management to put Coulport on a 'silent hours' routine, effectively weekend working hours. Maintenance work on Trident nuclear submarines disrupted testing work not carried out. Local reps expressed concern that MOD had not asked the Nuclear Accident Response Organisation at Faslane to be exempt from the action.
Devonport Naval Base, Plymouth – all site entrances heavily picketed and logistics support closed down. No ship movements in or out of the base could take place as all Admiralty pilots were on strike. Work by contractors and industrial grades was slowed down as supervisors were on strike. In common with most other MOD sites, military commanders agreed not to put service personnel into civilian work.
Portsmouth Naval Base – 300 engineering and logistics staff took strike action in and around Portsmouth, including the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency's munitions depot in Gosport. Pickets present at HMS Sultan training centre and the Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre, Southampton, the UK's only military port facility for moving army equipment on to ships.
Bicester -RAF Cosford. Home of the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering, this ground to a standstill when only one civilian reported for work. Courses were cancelled and the training programme will have to be extended.
RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall- At the support centre for the RAF search and rescue helicopter force, five members exempted from the action because their work is safety critical asked to donate a day's pay to charity because they had to go to work.
MOD Main Building, Whitehall – Pickets were out in force outside MOD headquarters and the Old War Office opposite. More than 100 specialists stayed away from work and leafletted the other 4,000 staff as they started their day. Maintenance of IT and communications networks halted after the night shift stopped work at midnight.
Prospect National Secretary Steve Jary said: “It takes a lot to persuade men and women who have dedicated their entire working lives to supporting the armed forces to take this kind of action. Nationwide there has been a magnificent response. Members have made their point in their thousands and the response from the military and other civilian staff to our protest has been very sympathetic.
“MOD cannot say it has been business as usual and we call upon the department to reopen negotiations over pay as soon as possible. MOD's current policies are driving its most skilled staff out of the department and will do lasting damage to Britain's operational capability if it does not listen.”