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Striking union workers 'intimidated'

Unite Union has reiterated claims that workers felt intimidated by Cumbria Police, at their official picket line last Wednesday:

We are frustrated with what happened to our picket last Wednesday. As they dealt with traffic issues Cumbria Police opened another area to get people onto the Sellafield site which bypassed our lawful picket line. It meant that many workers were unable to talk to us and us them. The police were quite forceful with their actions and some workers felt intimated by them."

– Steve Gibbons, Unite Union


Police deny intimidation of Sellafield strike workers

Cumbria Police Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Police says its response to strikes by Sellafield contractors was "proportionate and balanced".

The statement was issued after some of the workers claimed they were "intimidated" by police while picketing on Wednesday.

Cumbria Constabulary was present at the Sellafield site this morning in order to help facilitate lawful industrial action and implement a traffic management plan.

During the course of the morning a number of people were spoken to and cars obstructing roads were moved when requested by police. This was to allow those travelling to work to enter the site, and to ensure the action had minimal impact on members of the local community travelling in the area.

The Constabulary fully supports the right of an individual to take lawful industrial action, however a proportionate and balanced policing response is often required in consideration of those not involved in the action."

– Cumbria Police statement

Striking Sellafield workers claim they are being 'intimidated' by Police

Sellafield Nuclear Plant in Seascale, Cumbria. Credit: PA

Hundreds of Sellafield contract workers remain on strike after claiming they were "intimidated" by police while picketing on Wednesday.

The pickets were in place as part of an ongoing campaign by Unite members to have a full-time Union convenor based on the site.

Cumbria Police deny intimidation and say they were preventing cars obstructing roads.

Further Sellafield strikes

Some 400 members of staff are thought to have been on strike today Credit: ITV Border

Around four hundred Sellafield workers are striking today in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Health physics monitors who are members of the GMB union are walking out for four hours from eight thirty this morning.

Further walkouts are planned tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.

The monitors are responsible for measuring radiation levels at the site.

Sellafield strikes Credit: ITV Border


GMB Union: Sellafield "will not agree a way forward"

Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Credit: ITV News Border

A spokesman for the GMB Union says Sellafield "will not agree a way forward" after failing to carry out an agreement made in January last year to increase monitors' salaries due to the responsibility and accountability of the role.

"The industrial action taken today by the monitors at Sellafield was initiated by the company’s failure to carry out the agreement made in January 2014, when an independent panel decided that the monitors' role, because of the responsibility and accountability, warranted an upgrade to Band 4.

"It is 18 months now since that decision was made and the company will still not agree a way forward.

"We have informed the company that we are willing to sit down at any time to try and resolve this situation, but it seems that they are reluctant to do this.

The quote from the Director of Stakeholder Relations this morning ‘that the company could not always guarantee safety’ is something that causes the GMB great concerns. We provided 17 monitors to make sure that we were in a position to respond to any emergency and guarantee the safety of all personnel on the site."

– Joe Murdock, GMB Convenor

Four-hundred monitors, who carry out radiation checks at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria, are taking part in today's industrial action.

Sellafield's management say contingency plans are in place and that the strike has caused "low key" disruption.

Stakeholder Relations Director at Sellafield Ltd, Rory O'Neill, says the company believes its workers are "fairly recognised for what they do."

The GMB Union says more than 97% of members at the plant voted in favour of industrial action over the current pay deal which, Sellafield says, is "appropriate."

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