Aerospace, Defence & Shipbuilding

GMB is a leading union in the sector, and we are a key member of The Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions (, holding the Chair of its Maritime Sector.

We are a major trade union in employers including Rolls Royce, Harland & Wolff, A&P Group, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Babcock.

Our union's rich history in the sector goes back well over a hundred years and today we are at the forefront of fighting for a sustainable future.

We also proudly participate in the Alex Ferry Foundation - The Alex Ferry Foundation is committed to good work, supportive communities and improving lives in shipbuilding, engineering and manufacturing areas throughout the UK.

On this noticeboard you will find copies of information related to the employers we negotiate with and issues relevant to the sector.

Last update: 11 Jun 2024


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Workers will refuse overtime work in the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

GMB union has today announced that members at Rolls Royce’s submarine programme in Derby have backed an escalation in the ongoing industrial action facing the company.

Workers will now engage in an overtime ban, meaning company managers will not be able to call on staff to fulfil already groaning order books outside of contracted hours.

An overtime ban will come into place from Friday 31 May for one month.

Mick Coppin, GMB Organiser, said:

“Rolls Royce is a British institution as well as being a hugely profitable company.

“Sadly Rolls Royce bosses have refused to do what’s right by the high skilled and dedicated workforce that do so much for Rolls Royce.

“Managers are gambling with full international orderbooks at a time when the UK should be promoting it’s manufacturing capabilities across the globe.

“An overtime ban will have a huge impact on company orders at a time when order books are groaning.

“It’s time to end this and get back around the table with an offer that respects the vital contribution these workers make”.

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) National Pay Negotiations Update

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Dear GMB Members

Your Trade Union team met with DE&S today for the first formal pay negotiations session following the recent submission of this year’s national joint pay claim.

The meeting was constructive. A second negotiation session will now take place in April.

Your Trade Union team and the employer are working towards May/June as a window to be in a position to share an offer for your consideration.

Please continue to talk to your GMB Union reps about pay and conditions. If you would like to stand for election as a rep yourself, please contact your GMB Region/Nation.

If you have any colleagues who are not yet a member of GMB Union, please encourage them to join online. Together we are stronger.

In solidarity,

Matt Roberts

National Officer

Noticeboard Bulletin - 31-08-2023

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GMB secures strong commitments from the Labour Party

At Labour’s recent National Policy Forum (NPF), your GMB delegation secured a clear commitment to ending the post-2010 international tendering policy. We also won a promise that the UK’s NATO defence spending commitment will be met, and that UK defence manufacturing receives the investment it needs to grow, so our armed forces have the equipment needed to defend the UK and provide long-term assistance to Ukraine.

GMB’s amendments included a line that Labour is “committed to reforming defence procurement, recognising that British investment can be directed first to British industry when decisions consider factors such as good employer weightings and taxation paid in the UK”.

Matt Roberts, GMB National Officer said, “We believe that in the event of a future UK Labour government, these strong commitments on defence manufacturing will help to sustain decent skilled UK jobs for the future. Labour is recognising that defence procurement strengthens our UK economy and sovereignty.”

The power of the GMB and CSEU campaigning is also seen in other positive NPF commitments on ending the Conservatives' policy of sending defence shipbuilding contracts overseas and securing a 30-year pipeline of orders that can deliver investment and high-quality apprenticeships in the UK’s shipyards.

Successful CSEU Conference for GMB delegates

Your GMB team recently attended the CSEU Conference in Birmingham and passed motions on subjects ranging from Support for Aukus, Reindustrialising Apprenticeships, Solidarity with Ukraine, Shorter Working Time, Breathe Safe, and NSIGN. Reps attended from all Nations and Regions of the UK, from workplaces including Spirit Aerosystems, Ferguson Marine, Rolls Royce, Babcock, BAE Systems, and others.

Gary Thompson, a GMB Rep at BAE Systems Land in the North East of England and was a new delegate this year, commented: “As a first timer I can say the topics covered were very thought-provoking, especially the motions on British steel and neurodiversity”.

GMB working with Australians on Aukus

Your GMB and CSEU national team have held meetings with the Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Stephen Smith, and their Federal Minister for Skills & Training Brendan O’Connor, as we work to maximise the opportunities for workers in both countries.Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, commented: “The Aukus deal is a real opportunity to support and increase UK jobs in this crucial sector. It was great to talk to Minister O’Connor, who strongly recognises the value of trade unions and supporting workers in both the UK and Australia.”

Could you be a Workplace Rep?

Are you someone who has a strong sense of fairness? Do you speak up for your team? Do you want a safe and prosperous future for you and your colleagues, and your workplace? Do you enjoy helping others and making sure everyone is well looked after? Are you looking for new opportunities and to develop your skills and knowledge? Consider standing for election to become a Workplace Rep for GMB Union… speak to your local Convenor or Organiser.

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