November 17, 2022 2.00 pm This story is over 17 months old

Unite members set for toilet shame protest at RAF Cranwell

There have been complaints about inadequate facilities

Members of Unite the union will protest outside RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire on Saturday over the Ministry of Defence’s alleged failure to provide decent toilets for workers.

The protest will take place at 9.30am on Saturday, November 19, which is also World Toilet Day. Although Unite is holding the protest at RAF Cranwell, the problem is not unique to the airbase as other female civilian MoD workers have reported similar problems across the UK.

Unite said that for eight years firefighters at the base near Sleaford have been complaining about inadequate toilet and shower facilities, but claimed the MoD has failed to make any progress.

The problem first arose when the first female civilian firefighters were recruited to the base in 2014. Unite said 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.

However, 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, according to Unite.

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.”

The Ministry of Defence were contacted for a statement of response, which was later provided at around 5.30pm on Friday, November 18.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “Works are being progressed to upgrade facilities and we are working closely with our contractor to complete this as soon as possible.”

The project will provide gender neutral toilet and shower facilities. Following an increase in firefighter levels at RAF Cranwell, funding has been identified for a temporary solution in the meantime.

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