Sellafield nuclear workers take part in strike action

More than 1,200 construction workers at the Sellafield nuclear power plant in Cumbria have taken part in a strike today. The Unite union said its members took part in the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

More than 1,200 construction workers at the Sellafield nuclear power plant in Cumbria have taken part in a strike today.

The Unite union said its members took part in the action for two and a half hours this morning in a row over health and safety.

It follows an ongoing work-to-rule and overtime ban which has been in place since last week, it added.

The employees, working for 15 sub-contractors, are pressing for a full-time convenor on the site to improve the industrial relations and help address “growing health and safety as well as poor welfare facilities on the construction site”.

Mick Whitley, Unite Regional Secretary said: “Sellafield is an important nuclear facility where health and safety and the welfare of workers should be paramount. Our experience shows that a full-time union convenor would help ensure a healthier, more productive and profitable workplace.

“The continued refusal by Sellafield Ltd and the sub-contractors to implement arrangements which are commonplace across the industry puts this reasonable expectation at risk.”

A spokesperson from Sellafield however added: “This is a dispute about the welfare of workers in the contractor community and not about the safety of the Sellafield site.

“Sellafield is a safe place to work as proved by our track record, with 2014/15 producing one of our best ever set of safety statistics and eight gold awards from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).”