Unions warn of Dounreay 'shutdown' over pay dispute
Trade unions have warned that the Dounreay nuclear site could be shutdown within months because of a pay dispute.
Members of the GMB, Unite and Prospect unions rejected an offer from Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) of a 1% increase in pay in October last year.
The unions said "crisis talks" with DSRL on Thursday ended without a resolution and a timetable for a ballot on industrial action was "imminent".
DSRL has said the offer was "comparable" to other pay rises.
The unions said industrial action would suspend all work at the site.
Dounreay, near Thurso in Caithness, is being decommissioned.
Built in the 1950s, it was an experimental nuclear power site.
The unions argue that DSRL's parent company, Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, could afford to make a better offer on pay because of the profits it has been making.
In a statement, DSRL said: "We have made what we believe to be an improved offer to the trade unions and, although disappointed that we have not yet reached agreement, we remain committed to continued discussions to agree an annual cost of living increase for employees.
"The offer, which is in addition to individual performance related pay increases, is comparable to other government funded projects in the nuclear decommissioning industry and is above inflation for 2016."