Nuclear site firefighters set to strike


Firefighters at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria are to stage two 12-and-a-half hour strikes later this month in a dispute over pay.

The action by the workers – members of the union GMB – will take place on Tuesday, October 17 between 6am and 6.30pm and Thursday, October 19, between the same hours.

Firefighters were due to strike on July 24 before the industrial action was averted by last ditch talks.

Further action was suspended to allow management time to implement a promised resolution which was to have been in place by the end of September at the latest.

Over the two-month period since July, GMB and Sellafield management also discussed contingency safety provisions in the event of a serious incident taking place during the strike.

GMB say members believe that the work managers said they needed to do on the promised resolution to the firefighters’ remuneration now looks to have been stalling tactics by senior management rather than serious negotiations.

The union says crews at Sellafield work in a fully–fledged firefighter roles.

In a separate dispute, GMB’s 3,000 members at Sellafield took part in a 24 hour strike last week after the company imposed a below inflation pay increase of 1.5%. RPI inflation is currently 3.9%.

GMB senior organiser Chris Jukes said: “Sellafield management made what GMB believed was an offer in good faith a couple of months ago to resolve this dispute, which dates back years, by introducing a warm zone allowance by the end of September.

“Management have broken their promises with the latest offer at the end of last week.

“GMB’s firefighters have remained professional throughout this process which started in 2012 undertaking all the relevant training courses required, many done on their rest days.”

Sellafield Ltd said in a statement: “We made an offer to the firefighters which included an additional allowance for carrying out extra work.

“We agreed to work with the GMB and the firefighters to assess the value of that allowance. We remain open to further discussions.

“Our focus is on putting in place arrangements to ensure the site remains safe during any industrial action.”