Plans by the defence technology company QinetiQ to freeze the pay of its UK employees were greeted with anger and disbelief today.Prospect, the union for 19,000 defence professionals in the public and private sector said the decision, made at a scheduled meeting between the company and unions, came completely out of the blue.
David Luxton, Prospect National Secretary and chair of the QinetiQ trade unions, said: “Despite calling me to an early morning briefing before the meeting, the company did not see fit to mention the impending announcement, even though we are now aware that managers had been briefed in advance.
“It is particularly galling that management had told the unions in early March that they would not be in a position to discuss pay until today, and clearly this message was designed to ensure that staff continued to work hard in the last month of the financial year to deliver maximum revenues before March 31.”
All unions represented at QinetiQ have now announced that they will seek authority from their respective executive committees to ballot members for industrial action.
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.