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800 MoD staff take part in four-day strike

Eight hundred defence workers have started a four-day strike today, in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite who work for the Defence Support Group, which maintains, repairs and procures equipment for the Ministry of Defence, will walk out in protest over an offer of a 1% pay rise.

The union claims that the offer represents a real terms pay cut, and that workers are worried about an uncertain future with the DSG, which is to be privatised next year.

Unite national officer for the MoD and government departments, Mike McCartney, said: “With the sale of DSG to the private sector looming, our members want to take a decent rate of pay which can be consolidated for pension purposes to their new employer.

“The 1% on offer is a real-terms pay cut and for many workers feels like a final act of betrayal. The current DSG management can afford to give a decent pay rise to the workers who have made DSG such a success story in supporting our armed forces.

“Feelings among our members are running high not just because of the insulting pay offer, but because of the uncertain future they face of being sold off to the private sector. It’s time management got back around the table and negotiated a meaningful settlement.”

The main sites affected by the latest walkout are at Bovington (Dorset), Catterick (North Yorkshire), Colchester, Donnington (Shropshire), Stirling and Warminster (Wiltshire).

The four-day walkout follows a 24-strike which was held in October.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "It is disappointing that Unite is pressing ahead with strike action over a proposed 1% pay rise, which is in line with the offer to the wider civil service.

"The public can rest assured this industrial action will have no impact on ongoing military operations or capability."

(Image: c. Ingy The Wingy)

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