RAF staff plan work to rule in protest over jobs
HUNDREDS of civil servants at RAF Wyton and RAF Brampton have voted to work to rule in protest at the relocation of 700 jobs, and the Ministry of Defence s decision to close the Brampton base by 2011. Members of the Public and Commercial Services and Pro
HUNDREDS of civil servants at RAF Wyton and RAF Brampton have voted to work to rule in protest at the relocation of 700 jobs, and the Ministry of Defence's decision to close the Brampton base by 2011.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services and Prospect unions, who are furious at the plans to relocate much of the Defence Logistics Organisation - the principal employer at Wyton - to the south-west, have urged MPs and councillors to back their fight.
Service chiefs last week announced that about 700 DLO and support jobs would be moved in a major restructuring of RAF support functions.
Decisions on the future of hundreds more jobs, which could be moved to the Bristol area or other air force bases or privatised, are expected in the autumn after a top-level review by DLO.
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The unions say the business case for the amalgamation and co-location of logistics and procurement functions is riddled with holes and was further undermined by last week's hint that not all DLO jobs would go to the south-west.
They also claim that the consultation process was a sham.
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A mass meeting last week heard that a total of 2,728 jobs, mostly at Wyton, were at risk if ministers gave the plans the green light.
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has shown the unions at RAF Wyton a letter from the chairman of the influential Commons Public Accounts Committee, Sir Edward Leigh, which states that the Treasury knew about the speculative nature of the DLO plans to purchase the building in Bristol to house the new organisation but nevertheless gave it the go-ahead.
"The fact that the Treasury knew about this purchase makes it worse than we thought," said Angela Powell, chairman of the local PCS branch.
She added: "The Government should never be in the business of speculating with taxpayers' money, and just because the Treasury knew about this transaction it does not make it right".
The PCS is calling for a public inquiry over the purchase.
She is due to meet Mr Djanogly on Friday to seek his support for the campaign.
She said a petition to keep the Wyton jobs had been sent out to businesses across the area seeking support for the campaign by making their customers aware of the potential damage to the local economy and seeking signatures.
The unions expect to canvass public support in Huntingdonshire towns throughout August.