QinetiQ specialists ballot on strike action


QinetiQ specialists ballot on strike action

The threat of industrial action at the defence technology company QinetiQ has moved a step closer following the decision by Prospect that its 2,000 specialist members in the company are to be balloted on industrial action – up to and including strike action.

The union’s national executive committee gave its authority for the ballot at its meeting on May 14. The result of the ballot will be announced on Monday, June 1.

QinetiQ employees were outraged by the company’s announcement in April that it would freeze the pay of staff but would continue to pay the bonus entitlements of directors and senior managers.

Prospect National Secretary David Luxton said: “QinetiQ’s justification for the pay freeze does not hold up to close scrutiny. It continues to be a highly profitable company both internationally and in the UK with a ‘backlog’ of secured work worth £5.4 billion.

"While the growth in the UK business has been less than its overseas business, there is underlying revenue growth and profitability, generated through the hard work and intellectual excellence of the QinetiQ workforce.

“The chief executive, Graham Love has confirmed that bonus entitlements will continue this year. Bonus entitlements that only apply to directors and senior managers. If they are to be rewarded for performance for the previous twelve months, then why should the same principle not apply to all QinetiQ employees? He has questioned the ‘routine’ of an annual pay round, yet does not question the ‘routine’ of bonus entitlements for those at the top of the company.”

Luxton said a strong yes vote in the ballot will enable unions to put pressure on the QinetiQ board to reverse the decision to freeze pay. Staff deserve better treatment and it is hoped that the resolve of members to take some form of industrial action if necessary will make the company realise it has misjudged the mood of QinetiQ staff and make a pay offer to all it’s employees.

QinetiQ employs over 7,000 staff in the UK and operates over 40 sites with major facilities located at Farnborough in Hampshire, Malvern in Worcestershire and Boscombe Down, Wiltshire.