Royal Fleet Auxiliary workers to go on strike

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HUNDREDS of Royal Fleet Auxiliary workers are to go on strike on March 28.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announced the walk-out amid talks with the government to try to resolve the dispute over radical pension changes.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships run supply operations for the Royal Navy and are a vital cog in naval missions around the world.

The ships were heavily involved in operations off the coast of Libya last year.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: ‘We will be sending the clearest message to the government that we will defend our pensions to the hilt and the demand that our members should work longer, pay more and get less will be thrown back in the faces of this government of millionaire public schoolboys.

‘It’s the bankers and the bosses who have gambled with our country’s future and the men and women who provide the lifeline services to the Royal Navy fleet should not have to tolerate a worse pension and be forced to work longer to make up for their mistakes.’

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said the strike would not affect operations.

He said: ‘The situation is personnel on ships at sea are not eligible to strike.

‘We do not foresee that it will have any impact on Royal Navy operations.’

The RFA strike follows a similar walk out during a national day of industrial action on November 30 last year, after which a revised pensions proposal was made by the government.

This was accepted by some unions. However, RMT and a number of other public services unions have still not resolved their dispute.