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RFA officers to undertake industrial action from 1 June

17 May 2024

Nautilus International, as the union representing officers at the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), has officially informed the RFA and Ministry of Defence that members will begin industrial action, commencing from 1 June 2024.

Hundreds of Nautilus members working onboard RFA vessels will undertake 'action short of a strike'. This means that they will only undertake work responsibilities commensurate with their job title (i.e. they will not provide cover), or act in a capacity above or below their job title.

They will continue to work in full compliance with all safety guidelines and policies, ensuring the safety of people, the safety of the vessel, and the safety of the environment at all times.

Undertaking action short of strike does not preclude Nautilus and its members from strike action at a later date, if the fair demands of members for a pathway towards pay restoration are not met.

Members are strongly in favour of this action, with 79% voting yes to strike action and 85% voting yes to action short of a strike.

Nautilus director of organising Martyn Gray said: 'The RFA plays a vital role in national defence and in protecting international shipping around the world. Our members onboard are willing to put themselves at great risk in performing their tasks. They also do not wish to disrupt operations.

'However, after 14 years of pay austerity – representing more than a 30% real-terms cut in wages – and a resulting recruitment and retention crisis, they have finally had enough and have made the momentous decision to undertake industrial action for the first time in RFA history.

'Nautilus International has been in a series of meetings with RFA, Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence representatives to try to resolve this dispute. However, we have received no offer that our members are able to accept, and the situation has now been escalated further.

'It is now up to the UK government to put forward a serious offer, one that reflects their hard work and the essential role that they play in defence of this country, so that this dispute can be ended with a fair settlement for RFA personnel.'


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