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Munition workers at MoD site vote on strike action

Staff at a munitions depot are voting on strike action in a row over bonuses.

Workers at the Ministry of Defence’s 180-acre site in Beith, North Ayrshire, which is managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), accused management of disrespect.

GMB Scotland said non-craft workers at the base, who prepare arms and munitions for transport, are being balloted on strike action after being refused the same retention bonuses as managers and craft workers, who assemble munitions for the armed forces.

Chris Kennedy, GMB Scotland organiser, said it is “disheartening to see such blatant disregard for the principles of fairness and respect in a modern workplace”.

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He added: “Non-craft workers are integral to the smooth functioning of DE&S and their vital work deserves the same reward and recognition as their colleagues.

“Managers are effectively telling non-craft workers their efforts are not valued and unappreciated.

“It is unfair, discriminatory and will not stand.”

GMB Scotland said limiting extra payments, intended to reward staff through busy periods, only to some workers has created division and ill-will.

An MoD spokesperson said: “We are aware that GMB members are being balloted on strike action at DM Beith. In the event of industrial action, pre-planned contingency measures would be implemented to ensure the continued operation of the site.”