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Workers striking outside the DES depot in Beith (credit: GMB)

SNP Defence Spokesperson Dave Doogan is urging the Secretary of State for Defence to intervene and ensure fair treatment for workers at the Defence Equipment and Support (DES) depot in Beith.

DES Beith workers are striking following a management decision to restrict pay bonuses to managers and craft workers only and not support workers.

Just two weeks after the Defence Command paper announced the Government’s priorities to replenish stockpiles and retain key personnel, the MoD risks falling at the first hurdle.

The striking workers play a crucial role in the supply of multiple missile systems – some of which are being supplied to defend Ukraine from sustained Russian aggression.

Strike action began on the 14th and 17th of July and is expected to progress to a two week strike later this month if an agreement is not reached.

The cost of equitably extending bonuses to non-craft staff is estimated to be roughly half the cost of a single Spearfish torpedo.

Commenting Dave Doogan MP said:

“This industrial action is wholly avoidable and in fact unprecedented within this element of defence. I fully support those workers who have been forced to take this action following intransigence by the UK Government.

“UK Ministers are desperate to sound off about how defence’s most important asset is its people but at the same time all too reluctant to actually fund this commitment rendering it little more than a hollow Tory soundbite.

“The Secretary of State must immediately intervene, so that key workers are not penalised in this way during a cost-of-living crisis of Westminster’s making and while the results of their labours are directly assisting Ukraine’s war effort.”

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