By Jamie Patterson
Expected plans to privatise a historic navy fleet have outraged union leaders today.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary, a civilian fleet which has delivered ammunition, food and fuel to ships for over a century, is due to be considered for privatisation under a Ministry of Defence report due today.
Maritime Union RMT have criticised the plans, claiming that they were considered after MOD was put under pressure from the Treasury.
The Union also claims the sale would lead to widespread job losses and risk the security of naval vessels around the world.
Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said today:
“It is a national disgrace that top of the list for Government public spending cuts and privatisation is the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – the essential lifeline to Royal Navy vessels on active service all around the globe.
“RMT will mobilise to fight this plan which would amount to an act of short-term suicide that would rob the navy of over a hundred years of experience in the dash for public spending cuts and private profits.
RMT is seeking an urgent meeting with Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth to prevent this act of vandalism from reaching the pre-Budget report.”
Steve Todd, RMT National Maritime Secretary, added:
“Thousands of skilled merchant seafarers, serving the Royal Navy in war zones around the world and here at home, face the prospect of being slung on the scrap heap.
That is a disgraceful kick in the teeth to brave seafarers who have played a vital role in conflict after conflict with many paying the ultimate price with their lives.”