24 hour walkout planned for 6th March
Up to 700 employees at the MCA are to stage a 24 hour strike on the 6th March over pay.
The BBC has reported that it will affect emergency calls and operations at 19 UK search and rescue co-ordination centres, but not staff who are sent out to emergencies.
The general secretary of the Public and Commercial services union, Mark Serwotka, said: “This unprecedented vote… illustrates the depth of anger among staff who provide a vital emergency service. This is not a step which our coastguard members have taken lightly.”
Pay levels are so low that watch assistants have needed a special pay rise to bring them up to the level of the national minimum wage.”
In a Press release, Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said; I am very saddened by this result… Safety at sea is the MCAs key priority and by our contingency plans which are now in place I can reassure the public that an emergency response for those at risk will not be compromised by industrial action.
Affected MCA centres are