Unite construction members employed at Sellafield Contractor Group Limited in West Cumbria have overwhelmingly backed industrial action in a dispute over the company’s refusal to allow a full time union shop steward and a more proactive remit for the site’s health and safety committee.
The presence of a union representative, including safety representation is essential at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria – to work together with the workforce and the company - keeping employees, the public and the site safe and secure.
Over 1,200 Unite members voted 98 per cent in support of industrial action. Workers will decide what type of industrial action they will take at a meeting next week (Tuesday 21 April).
Negotiations to resolve the ten months dispute between Unite, Sellafield Contractor Group Limited and the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA) broke down yesterday (Wednesday 15 April).
Unite is urging Sellafield Contractor Group management to get back around the negotiating table in a bid to find a reasonable settlement that addresses its employees very reasonable request.
Unite regional officer Steve Benson said: “Our members have lost patience with Sellafield management who have steadfastly continued to ignore our very reasonable request.
“All they are asking for is their rights for a co-worker to become a union shop steward at the Sellafield site to represent construction workers and keep them safe. It makes sense for our members and the company and it will help improve industrial relations and a safety and welfare culture at the site.
“Unite members have no wish to take action but are being forced to do so by a company unwilling to take our members’ concerns seriously. Unite has a proud track record of working with employers to resolve disputes and is urging Sellafield to get back to serious talks.”
For more information please contact Steve Benson on 07770 575 404 and/or Unite campaigns officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316.
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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