Babcock shipyard staff to ballot on strike over pensions

Employees at Babcock International’s shipyard at Rosyth will hold a strike ballot tomorrow over planned pension changes.

Some 1,200 workers at Rosyth Royal Dockyard will ballot on industrial action. Last month work at the yard stopped when the workforce walked out because Babcock management intended to impose a 4.5% increase in pension contributions; reduce pensionable pay and raise the retirement age to 65 years, according to the union†Prospect.

Alan Denney, national secretary of Prospect, said Babcock has cancelled pay negotiations while the pensions dispute continues. He also predicted a yes vote which would lead to a number of 24-hour strikes starting in early August.

“Management must understand the depth of feeling on this issue among staff at the dockyard. It is not going to disappear. Imposing changes to terms and conditions and pensions is not the way to conduct industrial relations in the 21st century,” †he added.