Bosses at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant have been urged to remove ‘the roadblock’ to a pay deal, as Unite workers prepare to go on strike for a second time on Wednesday 22 November.
Unite, the country’s largest union representing more than 1,100 craft workers at the Cumbria plant, has consistently claimed that government ministers are pulling the strings behind the scenes and hampering the Sellafield management from reaching a pay settlement
The dispute centres on the ‘completely unacceptable’ 1.5 per cent pay offer imposed by Sellafield Ltd - a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) company - in September, backdated to 1 April this year.
The workers have already held a 24 hour strike on 7 November and now another strike has been called running from 06.45 on 22 November to 06.00 to 23 November, depending on which shift the workers are on.
Unite regional officer Graham Williams said: “The strike on 7 November was well-supported by our maintenance and electrician members, with a positive groundswell of sympathy from workers in other unions and the general public.
“I would like to pay tribute to our shop stewards for the way they mobilised support on the day.
“Another strike is planned for 22 November, with more industrial action on the cards in the run-up to Christmas.
“Unite has consistently stated that a pay deal is being obstructed by the invisible hand of ministers. The Sellafield management needs to assert themselves and remove this roadblock to a pay deal.
“Our members are highly skilled professionals who have greatly contributed to making large savings at Sellafield and they have been repaid by a derisory pay offer lagging way behind the rising level of inflation.
“We would urge the management to get around the table for constructive negotiations, before industrial action is ramped up even further.”
Unite said that it would continue to maintain a skeleton staff during the forthcoming strike to reassure the people of Cumbria on health and safety issues.
The strike follows a ballot of its craft members which saw 90 per cent vote for strikes.
Notes to editors:
GMB members at Sellafield have already voted for and taken action.
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.