MP for Bournemouth East Tobias Ellwood has called for a pay raise for military personnel, including Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), to resolve the deepening crewing crisis.
On 12 January Mr Ellwood, the former chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told the Daily Telegraph: 'Unless pay and conditions for both the Royal Navy (RN) and RFA are immediately addressed the shortage in personnel will result in a reduction of maritime operations at the very time our wider security interests are being threatened.'
His comments followed reports that the UK's aircraft carriers were not ready to be sent to the Red Sea in response to attacks on merchant shipping by Houthis in Yemen because of the recruitment crisis engulfing the Armed Forces.
On 8 January, the Daily Telegraph reported that the RFA had turned to Serco to recruit able seafarers, due to the recruitment crisis.
Last year, Nautilus members in the RFA voted to reject the offer of a 4% pay rise. However, the RFA imposed the increase, saying that there was no more money available.
Nautilus national organiser Derek Byrne said: 'Our members clearly weren't happy about the pay imposition and are currently being balloted for industrial action.'
Members are urged to take part in the ballot, which closes on 5 April 2024.