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Workers at the Sellafield nuclear site are staging a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay.
More than 1,000 members of the Unite union walked out at 6am this morning in protest at a 1.5% imposed wage increase.
The union accused the company of adopting a "hardline" attitude, orchestrated by the "unseen hand" of the Government.
Regional officer Graham Williams warned that further industrial action could be taken in the run-up to Christmas.
A Sellafield spokesman said: "As always, the safety and security of the Sellafield site, our workforce and the community are our priorities during this industrial action.
"We are working with Cumbria Police and Cumbria County Council's Highways team to try to minimise disruption.
"However, strikes by their nature are designed to cause disruption and people should expect traffic problems while pickets are in place.
"We have taken all steps available to us to minimise disruption including opening all access gates and advising staff on steps they can take to help."
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Management at Sellafield say they're finalising arrangements to ensure the safety of the nuclear site when workers go on strike.
Members of the GMB union at the plant have voted to walk out in a dispute over pay. They'll be protesting against a below-inflation pay rise. No date has been set for the industrial action.
We believe that a no-strings attached 1.5% pay increase is both fair and reasonable. We made that offer based on company affordability, and it was accepted by the Prospect Union which has collective bargaining rights for the largest group of our workforce.
The GMB represents around 2,000 of our 10,500 strong workforce. Clearly, we are disappointed at the GMB’s ballot result, and will now start to finalise our arrangements to ensure that the site remains safe and secure during any subsequent action."
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