Vote for strike action could hit Royal Navy contracts at Cammell Laird

Birkenhead shipyard, Cammell Laird, is set to be hit by industrial action linked to pay talks which could impact work on Royal Navy contracts.

The GMB trade union said more than 400 staff, who belong to the GMB and Unite the Union, are set to walk out on strike following a ballot over pay and conditions.

Union leaders say their members have been offered a six per cent pay increase, which they say is a real terms pay cut when inflation has been more than 10% earlier this year.

The yard is currently involved in construction contracts for Royal Navy Type 26 frigates and Dreadnought submarines. The union said this work will now be subject to delays should strike action materialise.

The yard is also carrying out refitting and maintenance on a number of Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

Among other contracts at the Birkenhead yard are Seatruck, Stenna and Calmac ferries, and support vessels for the oil and gas industry.

Workers involved in potential industrial action include welders, pipefitters, electricians, fitters, labourers and cleaners, as well as office staff, who all voted to strike with a majority of 94% (GMB) and 96% (Unite).

Dates for strike action will be announced in due course, said the GMB.

Albie McGuigan, GMB organiser, said: “These are skilled workers doing vital work for the Royal Navy and the commercial sector.

“Yet because of Cammell Laird’s poor response to their pay claim and unnecessary delays they’re struggling to keep up with the cost of living.

“It’s no wonder they’re frustrated, angry and have voted to strike with a huge majority.”

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Cammell Laird has signed contracts worth hundreds of millions with the UK Government to build and maintain their ships, yet thinks it can get away with cutting our members’ pay in real terms.

“Unite won’t stand for such behaviour or any attempts by management to bully, harass or discriminate against our members.”

Cammell Laird has been contacted for comment.