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As industrial action continues at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Beith, an arm’s length Ministry of Defence (MoD) body, North Ayrshire & Arran MP, Patricia Gibson, joined the workers on Monday morning to offer her full support.

GMB Scotland members staged a rally outside the DE&S plant where Mrs Gibson addressed the striking workers, calling for a speedy resolution to the dispute, after she urged new Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps MP to intervene, raised the matter on the floor of the House of Commons and tabled a Westminster Early Day Motion.

Patricia Gibson MP said:

“This strike action is unprecedented, backed by 93% of GMB members and not undertaken lightly.

“However, as workers in DE&S fight for improved pay and conditions I stand beside them in solidarity.

“It’s unjust that non-craft workers who prepare arms for shipment at the depot, face discrimination in the payment of bonuses, relative to craft workers who assemble munitions. Retention payments are made to managers and craft workers, whilst non-craft colleagues earning less than £21,000 a year have been excluded from these bonuses.

“The UK supports the people of Ukraine as they fight to protect their country’s territorial integrity and freedom in the face of Russian aggression. MoD Beith is vital in ensuring the uninterrupted supply of equipment to UK armed forces and the Ukrainian frontline.

“The workers at Beith quite rightly reject the two tier payments currently operating within DE&S and I support their action for a fairer and more equal working environment where the work of all at DE&S is respected and recognised with a bonus scheme which is fair to all workers at the site. The Defence Secretary must urgently intervene to ensure a fair resolution to this dispute.

“I will continue to pursue this matter at Westminster to help secure a positive outcome as soon as possible.”



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