Unite to protest on World Toilet Day

Unite stages demonstration over Lincolnshire MoD toilet shame

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Members of Unite will mark World Toilet Day (November 19) with a protest outside RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, due to the Ministry of Defence’s failure to provide decent toilets for workers.

The protest will take place Saturday, November 19 from 9.30am at RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8HB.

For eight years firefighters at the base have been complaining about inadequate toilet and shower facilities but the Ministry of Defence has failed to make any progress.

The problem first arose when the first female civilian firefighters were recruited to the base in 2014. It became apparent the ageing facilities in place were not fit for purpose and were not adequate for unisex use.

The firefighters’ union, Unite, has secured the support of Capita, which is responsible for managing the outsourced firefighter’s contract. Capita has offered to procure a temporary separate facility attached to the firefighter centre at RAF Cranwell. But due to red tape put forward by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which is an arm of the Ministry of Defence, a workable solution has been blocked.

Unite regional officer Paula Stephens said, “It is disgusting that after eight years the MoD has failed to ensure that our members at RAF Cranwell can have toilet dignity. The failure to provide decent toilets is an attack on our members’ basic human rights.

“The MoD should be ashamed of its actions and immediately remove the blockage which is preventing adequate facilities being provided at RAF Cranwell. The MoD also needs to ensure that similar problems at other bases are also rapidly resolved.”

Although Unite is holding a protest at RAF Cranwell, the problem is not unique to the airbase. Across the UK, other female civilian MoD workers, especially those working as firefighters, have reported similar problems.

World Toilet Day is recognised by the United Nations and highlights the 3.6 billion people who are forced to live with poor quality toilets.

By Barckley Sumner