Hundreds of construction workers to strike in Scotland

Hundreds of construction workers in Scotland are to strike after Unite members backed industrial action.

From 17 April to 10 July, 100 Kaefer Limited workers at the Rosyth Dockyard are set to take 12 weeks of all-out strike action.

Unite says the action will “directly threaten” progress on a contract with the Royal Navy to build five Type 31 frigates. In November 2019, the Rosyth yard owner Babcock was contracted as part of a £1.25bn deal to deliver the warships.

Members supported strike action by 98.4 per cent after Kaefer failed to make a formal pay offer. Following the strike vote, the company made an offer of 7.2 per cent, which was rejected.

The union’s regional industrial officer Bob MacGregor said: “The imminent strike action will have a knock-on effect for the Type 31 contract, and it will undoubtedly lead to significant delays.”

In addition, more than 360 offshore workers for contractor Stork will strike for 48 hours in a dispute over working rotas and rates of pay. In a recent ballot, 98 per cent of Unite members at Stork supported the strike, which will affect over 30 offshore installations.

The Stork strike forms part of an “unprecedented tsunami” of industrial action announced by Unite at offshore oil and gas facilities from 24-26 April. The union said that 1,350 offshore workers across five companies will strike, hitting a number of corporations including BP, Shell and Total.

Alongside Stork Technical Services, the other companies impacted by the strike action are Bilfinger UK Limited, Petrofac Facilities Management, Sparrows Offshore Services, and Worley Services UK Limited.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Oil and gas companies in the offshore sector are enjoying record windfall profits. There’s no question that contractors and operators can easily afford to give Unite members a decent pay rise.”

Meanwhile, a strike by construction workers for Dundee City Council has been suspended. Unite members within the council’s construction services began industrial action on 4 April, leading to the suspension of services such as non-emergency repairs, capital works and lift maintenance.

The council said that services will resume from today after the suspension of strike action. In a statement, the local authority said “we remain in dialogue with trade union representatives on the issues raised” and warned of some ongoing disruption.

At the time of the ballot, Unite said the strike – supported by 95 per cent of members – was held “over plans to outsource services to private contractors”.

Ahead of the strike, the council said that while it had brought in temporary subcontractors to deal with a backlog of repairs, it had “no plans” to outsource roles in its 320-strong workforce.

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