Sellafield staff back industrial action over health and safety

Unite says 1,200 members at Cumbria site overwhelmingly vote in favour of campaign of action

Sellafield nuclear plant  in Seascale, Cumbria, England. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Sellafield nuclear plant in Seascale, Cumbria, England. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

 

Workers at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, England have voted to take industrial action in a row over health and safety.

Unite said its 1,200 members at the site overwhelmingly backed a campaign of action. A meeting will be held next week to decide what form the action will take.

Unite said it had been trying for 10 months to have a union official appointed to a health and safety role at Sellafield, adding that talks have now broken down.

“Our members have lost patience with Sellafield management who have steadfastly continued to ignore our very reasonable request,” said regional officer Steve Benson. “All they are asking for is their right for a co-worker to become a union shop steward at the Sellafield site to represent construction workers and keep them safe.

“It makes sense for our members and the company and it will help improve industrial relations and a safety and welfare culture at the site. Unite members have no wish to take action, but are being forced to do so by a company unwilling to take our members’ concerns seriously.

“Unite has a proud track record of working with employers to resolve disputes and is urging Sellafield to get back to serious talks.”