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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 17:12 GMT
Naval dockworkers stage protest
The demonstration
Workers are worried they may lose their jobs
About 1,000 Portsmouth dockyard workers, who fear they could lose their jobs if their work is privatised, have staged a protest at the naval base.

Members of the Transport and General Workers Union want to remain as civil servants working for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) but there are plans to transfer their work to a private consortium.

The dockers fear for their jobs if they are transferred to Fleet Support Limited (FSL), a private consortium that already carries out warship maintenance for the MoD.

The workers handed over a petition to the Commodore of the Naval Base during the protest on Tuesday.

A mock Lord Nelson led the protest
A mock Lord Nelson led the protest
Trade union spokesman Richard Ryan said it would not be cost-effective to privatise work at the yard.

"What it's about is getting the best service to the fleet," he said.

"We believe we can do that by staying in-house.

"We've go in-house solution which we think is better than privatisation."

Protesters on the march said they just wanted to remain civil servants.

"We work for the MoD, I've worked here for 14 years and I object to going over to FSL," said one.


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