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Sellafield Firefighters To Go On Strike This Month

The GMB union has attacked Sellafield's management as it announced two 12-and-a-half hour firefighter strikes will go ahead this month.

These will go ahead on Tuesday, October 17th and Thursday, October 19th, as the two sides continue their dispute over pay.

Firefighters - who have said they have been underpaid for years - were due to strike in July but this was put on hold as both sides agreed to talk.

Action was then suspended to allow the site's management time to put in place a "promised resolution" by the end of last month and both sides have been discussion plans to deal with any serious incident which could take place during a strike.

The union has accused management promises though of being "stalling tactics".

Chris Jukes, GMB senior organiser, said: “Sellafield Limited 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."

Mr Jukes also accused managers of earning "eye-watering bonuses" and spreading "a message of greed".

He added: "There is a well developed masters and servants culture at Sellafield- senior management on top bonuses costing nearly £20m per year, against a steadfast refusal to recognise the efforts and skills of the workers expected to be in the thick of keeping the 10,000 workers on the site and the much wider community safe in the most difficult of circumstances.

"Feedback from GMB members is that they want to do the work necessary to make the Sellafield site safe if difficult things happen.

"We live in very uncertain times and the firefighters’ priority is to protect the community and the public at large."

Mr Jukes also said GMB members were "insulted" by the approach management had been takking.

ointment’ with the response from GMB negotiators to the latest offer.

"GMB members recognise, along with their families, that work on a Civil Nuclear Decommissioning Plant - with the accompanying risks from high levels of radioactive waste - means they should be appropriately rewarded," he said

“The company has sought to denigrate and bad mouth firefighters by inappropriate comparisons with workers outside the site."

This announcement comes a week after a separate dispute saw 3,000 GMB members go on strike for 24 hours and Unite's memebrs voted to take strike action.

A Sellafield spokesman said: "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."

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