Thursday, July 22, 1999 Published at 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Business: The Company File
Rosyth staff stage walkouts
Rosyth last saw action in the 1980s
Rosyth Dockyard in Fife faces its first industrial action in more than a decade with staff preparing to walk out over failed pay negotiations.
They are hoping to secure an improved pay offer with a series of two-hour stoppages at the end of each day's shifts.
The yard has just started a £150m refit of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, but a ballot on industrial action was backed by an overwhelming 95% of members.
IPMS spokesman Alan Denney said refit work on two submarines and the Ark Royal would be hit by the action, which is being supported by a wide range of staff - including engineers, supervisors and designers.
Babcock has offered a 2.5% increase in salary this year followed by another 2.5% next April. But this was related to performance pay and there are cuts in sick pay and annual leave entitlement.
The company revised its offer but a union spokesman said this too was rejected.
"The revised offer still has too many strings attached to sickness benefit, shift working and overtime and was rejected a week ago," he added.
"The management have made no further offer or attempted to have further discussions. This will be the first of a number of walkouts and if the company does not respond there will be an escalation of industrial action."
The remaining 2,000 industrial workers at the yard rejected a similar pay offer on Tuesday night.
But they still have to go through the process of balloting their membership for industrial action.
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