Cumbria

Sellafield security guards vote to strike over pay

Sellafield Image copyright PA
Image caption About 180 security and catering staff at Sellafield are involved in the pay dispute

Security guards and catering staff at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria have voted to go on strike over pay.

About 180 staff, who are employed by outsourcing firm Mitie, will take part in two 10-day strikes starting on 19 April and on 4 May.

The workers are members of the Unite union, which says it wants an increase to the current rate of £8.45 per hour.

Mitie said it only recognises the GMB Union, not Unite.

Sellafield Ltd said it was monitoring the situation.

Unite said Mitie had refused to negotiate a fresh pay claim, but the company insisted it was unable to discuss terms with Unite.

'Huge disruption'

Unite regional officer Ryan Armstrong said: "Mitie is a multimillion-pound company that is refusing to pay workers even the living wage, on a high security site.

"Our members are no longer going to accept poverty wages and if Mitie wants to prevent huge disruption at the complex, then it needs to make a fair pay offer."

A Mitie spokesman said: "GMB is the only recognised union on our soft services contract at Sellafield. This continues to be a constructive relationship.

"Following recent successful pay negotiations with the GMB, we have increased hourly rates for employees at Sellafield. This offer was accepted following a ballot of GMB union members.

"We are arranging cover to ensure the normal continuation of services across the sites and minimalise any potential disruption."

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said: "We will be monitoring the situation and working to understand any impacts so we can have contingencies in place if required."

According to the government website, the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage rate from April 2019 is £8.21 for those aged 25 years and above, prior to that it was £7.83.

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