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Coastguard staff set to strike again

PUBLISHED: 15:18 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:48 03 July 2010

COASTGUARDS will be striking again later this month in their continuing pay dispute.

Staff at the Yarmouth coastguard rescue centre will be among those joining in around the country.

COASTGUARDS will be striking again later this month in their continuing pay dispute.

Staff at the Yarmouth coastguard rescue centre will be among those joining in around the country. The decision follows a strike on March 6, which was the first in the coastguard's 154-year-history

Around 600 people went on strike, and managers had to man the control rooms at Yarmouth and elsewhere around the country.

The dates will be confirmed today by the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents coastguard staff.

There are expected to be two periods when only emergency work will be carried out, followed by two 24-hour strikes.

Emergency work only is due to start at 8am next Tuesday and run until 8am next Friday, when a 24-hour strike will start.

The second period of emergency work only is due to start at 8am on Monday, April 21, and last until 8pm on Wednesday, April 23, when a 24-hour strike will start.

The union says the strike will be supported by all 19 centres around the country.

Staff want their pay to be brought into line with other emergency services.

At the moment, a control assistant is paid just a penny over the minimum wage, £5.53 an hour, and watch officers are paid from £14,500.

The union is calling for a pay rise of £3,000, but the Maritime and Coastguard Agency says it is bound by rules on public sector pay.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is greatly disappointed the strike day has been called for the 11 April.

“Our job is the safety of life at sea and we are disappointed that the Union has chosen the day to cause maximum disruption.

“Union members should also be aware that as we enter the leisure yachting and recreational boating season, they will need to be careful in the action they take of risking the lives and safety of the boating

public.

“Contingency plans are now being drawn up by senior managers to lessen the risks, but the MCA remain very concerned by this unnecessary and potentially life-threatening action and would encourage the unions to return to the negotiating table at the very earliest opportunity.”

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