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RFA Tidespring underway

RFA Tidespring. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2024

UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary Officers to Begin Industrial Action Amid Ongoing Pay Dispute

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1380
May 17, 2024

Officers of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) represented by Nautilus International, have announced plans for industrial action starting 1 June 2024, the union announced Friday.

The RFA, a civilian-manned fleet owned by the UK Ministry of Defence, provides vital logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and other UK armed forces.

The industrial action will involve hundreds of Nautilus members working on RFA vessels, who will only perform duties directly related to their job title. While they will not provide cover or act outside their capacity, they will continue to follow all safety guidelines and policies to ensure people’s safety, vessel safety, and environmental protection.

This action, termed ‘action short of a strike’, does not rule out the possibility of a full strike later if the members’ demands for a pathway towards pay restoration are not met.

The action has strong support among members, with 79% voting in favour of strike action and 85% supporting the action short of a strike. “Our members onboard are willing to put themselves at great risk in performing their tasks,” said Nautilus executive director Martyn Gray. “They also do not wish to disrupt operations.”

“However, after 14 years of pay austerity — representing more than a 30% real-terms cut in wages — and a resulting recruitment and retention crisis, they have finally had enough and have made the momentous decision to undertake industrial action for the first time in RFA history,” he added.

“It is now up to the UK government to put forward a serious offer, one that reflects their hard work and the essential role that they play in defence of this country, so that this dispute can be ended with a fair settlement for RFA personnel,” Gray concluded.

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