Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working for the Ministry of Defence have begun working to rule today in a dispute over job losses and relocation.
PCS members at the Defence Logistics Organisation are warning the supply of equipment to the armed forces could be seriously disrupted as a result of the action.
The work to rule will see staff refuse overtime and refuse to do work outside of their pay band. Staff will also strictly work to their contracts of employment and fully observe health and safety legislation, in particular the requirement to take a 10 minute screen break each hour.
The industrial action follows proposals which, the union claims, threaten about 4,000 civilian Ministry of Defence jobs through the relocation of staff in the Defence Logistics Organisation and the Defence Procurement Agency to the south west of England.
Talks at conciliation service Acas have so far failed to reach an agreement.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, called on the Ministry of Defence to reconsider its plans. “The Ministry of Defence’s insistence to put preconditions on the talks and their refusal to discuss options put forward by the union to resolve the dispute mean that staff will be taking the historic and unprecedented step of starting industrial action.”
The union is already in dispute with the Ministry of Defence about plans to privatise defence training, which it claims will lead to job cuts and falling standards.