Socialist Worker

Fresh strikes called across Defence Support Group sites

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2429

DSG workers at Donnington, near Telford, last month

DSG workers at Donnington, near Telford, last month (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Defence Support Group (DSG) workers have escalated their fight for a pay rise by announcing a four-day walkout.

The strike, which is planned to start on Monday of next week, will take place across all sites.

For many workers this will effectively mean a week of action as some sites have limited working on Friday. 

The workers are members of the Unite union who repair and maintain military equipment for the Ministry of Defence (MoD). 

They are fighting for an 8 percent pay rise, against the government’s 1 percent public sector pay cap.

Brett Davis, Unite convenor for DSG workers at MoD Donnington in Shropshire, told Socialist Worker, “Workers are determined. 

“People have been talking about how the strike can win if we escalate—it’s achievable.”

The strike is also set to involve DSG workers at MoD bases at Bovington in Dorset, Catterick in north Yorkshire, Colchester in Essex, Sealand in north Wales, Stirling in central Scotland and Warminster in Wiltshire.

The latest strike comes after workers walked out in a rolling programme of action last month.

In the background of the dispute is a privatisation plan to sell off the company which has a national workforce numbering around 2,800.

The government tries to sell its plan with the promise that working for private bosses could mean getting more work by taking on more private contracts. 

But up until just a few years ago, DSG workers also serviced civilian equipment—from trains to council road gritters.

The best way to bring in more work would be to let them do so again, not privatisation. 

A win for the DSG workers could set a precedent and help turn the tide against George Osborne’s pay freeze.

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