THOUSANDS of workers at Sellafield nuclear recycling plant in Cumbria will walk out on strike for 24 hours today over pay.
The GMB union workers voted 76 per cent for strike action after Sellafield Ltd imposed a below-inflation pay increase of 1.5 per cent.
Inflation is currently at 3.9 per cent. Last year, GMB members accepted a 0.25 per cent offer in order to stop management cutting the pay of apprentices at the site.
The union has assured that minimum safe staffing levels will be maintained during the strike.
GMB senior organiser Chris Jukes said: “It is a crying shame that we have reached this position and there is huge frustration at the management culture inside Sellafield.
“GMB members have not sought a dispute and they do not want to strike, but Sellafield Ltd has created this.
“Macho management and an upstairs-downstairs culture where the big bosses receive eye-watering bonuses while those on the shop floor have accepted — under sufferance — previous below-inflation pay rises, seen worse terms and conditions for new starters imposed at vastly reduced rates of pay and, from next year, increased contributions for works pension.
“A cultural overhaul in the management of Sellafield is urgently needed.
“The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority needs to talk some sense into Sellafield’s top brass, get this dispute sorted and deliver a vision that the workforce, their families and the wider community can buy into.”
Unite is also balloting 2,000 members at the plant over strike action. The result is due on Monday.