APPLEDORE Shipyard union representatives travelled to London this week to seek further support in their pay dispute with employers Babcock Marine. Union delegates from Unite and the GMB yesterday (Tuesday) made a presentation to shipyard colleagues nation

APPLEDORE Shipyard union representatives travelled to London this week to seek further support in their pay dispute with employers Babcock Marine.Union delegates from Unite and the GMB yesterday (Tuesday) made a presentation to shipyard colleagues nationwide at the Maritime Forum in Transport House and also had talks with the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU), which acts as an umbrella organisation for the unions. Around 180 workers at the shipyard took strike action on Friday and again on Monday in support of claims for more pay. Union members at Appledore say they are being paid significantly less than workers in other Babcock sites in Plymouth, Rosyth and Faslane. They argue that, on average, workers in Appledore are paid 19 per cent less, equating to £70 to £100 difference per week.Unions have failed to reach agreement with the owners on a two-year pay deal following the winning of a contract to build the bow sections for two new 65,000 tonne Royal Navy aircraft carriers, which gives the yard security of work for the next five years.Work on the yard's current super yacht project was brought to a standstill as the union members picketed the yard in a bid to kick-start further pay negotiations.Unless an agreement is found, the strikes are planned to continue on Fridays and Mondays for the next two weeks. Unite regional officer Heathcliffe Pettifer told the Gazette that the Maritime Forum brought together nationwide representatives to discuss issues within all the shipyards.The small delegation from Appledore made its presentation to other union members there, seeking moral support in respect of their dispute. They were then seeking similar support from the CSEU."As well as endorsing and supporting our dispute we are hoping they will help to facilitate a meeting with Babcock Marine," he said. "There are currently no discussions taking place because industrial action is happening, but we hope as a result of our trip we will make some arrangements for more talks with the shipyard's owners. We desperately want to get around the table and talk about this. No one wants industrial action."Shipyard owner Babcock Marine have been unwilling to comment on the industrial dispute.www.northdevon.gov.uk