Protests over coastguard closures will see workers walk out in sudden strikes

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COASTGUARD workers are set to strike in protest at plans to close nine of the country’s coastguard stations.

Staff at the Solent base, in Marine Parade West, Lee-on-the-Solent are due to walk out from 3am to 4am tomorrow.

Then on Saturday, day shift workers will strike between 11am and 12pm.

As reported in The News, the government wants to close the coastguard base in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Instead operations will move to a new state-of-the-art centre inside the disused fire control centre at Kite’s Croft in Titchfield.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) says the closures would mean the loss of life-saving local knowledge around the coast and could put lives at risk.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘We have always had grave concerns about the government’s proposals to cut coastguard stations and staff and we know this is shared by people in our coastal communities.

‘We believe these cuts could put lives at risk and we want ministers to abandon the plans and talk to us, the public, and seafarers, in a genuine effort to establish the kind of coastguard service we need and to invest to ensure the proper resources are put in place.’

The industrial action will continue, alternating between night and day shifts, until June 15.

Members of the union who are driving examiners will also hold a two-hour strike against job cuts, privatisation and plans to close test centres.