GMB MEMBERS EMPLOYED AS ANCILLARY STAFF BY CONTRACTOR MITIE AT SELLAFIELD TO STRIKE AFTER MANAGEMENT OFFER REAL TERMS PAY CUT
It is simply wrong that people doing hard, dirty and difficult graft at the sharp end on a nuclear plant should be in receipt of pay rates which many then have to supplement with in-work benefits says GMB.
GMB, the union for nuclear contractor workers, has called a 24 hour strike of ancillary staff employed at Sellafield by private contractor Mitie after the company offered them a real terms pay cut.
The staff, some of the lowest paid workers on site, will strike from 06.01hrs on Wednesday, 29th November until 05.59 hours on Thursday, 30th November.
Mitie, contracted by Sellafield Ltd to run facilities at the site, offered a 1% increase earlier this year to the 300 staff employed by Mitie who undertake industrial cleaning and work such as catering, business services and security.
When GMB members rejected this offer, Mitie then offered 2% which was also rejected.
The company then imposed the 2% as a 'final settlement'.
RPI inflation is currently 4%, so the offer from Mitie would represent a significant real terms pay cut for the staff who earn on average less than £8 an hour - with a large proportion on only just above the national minimum wage.
GMB members voted by an overwhelming majority of almost nine to one to take industrial action.
In a separate dispute, 3,000 GMB members directly employed by Sellafield are set to strike on the same day. 
Chris Jukes GMB Senior Organiser said:
“Our members working for Mitie at Sellafield do vital jobs that may not be seen by everyone in management as exciting or important, but the site cannot function effectively and safely without them.
"It is highly regrettable that neither Mitie nor Sellafield management properly value the work GMB members are doing, forcing them to resort to strike action to get fair treatment - they are last people you are likely to see walking out.
"GMB members working for Mitie see eye-watering amounts of money paid to Sellafield Ltd executives who then package up contracts to be provided by companies like Mitie with pay rates of £7.65 per hour.
“It is simply wrong that people doing hard, dirty and difficult graft at the sharp end on a nuclear plant should be in receipt of pay rates which many then have to supplement with in-work benefits.
"Our members say are sick of falling behind other workers on site, they are sick of feeling betrayed and they are sick of a sense of low esteem.
“Some of our members work for between £7.65 per hour and £8.20 per hour on a nuclear site and deserve more given the highly sensitive nature of their work which can include working with cross contaminants.
"They are angry and frustrated at how they are treated.
“GMB understands the market place and how difficult things are in a sector where Sellafield as the client rules the roost, but with RPI inflation running at 4% this offer is nothing more than a real terms cut in our members' living standards.
"The taxpayer is losing out all ends up as Sellafield Ltd executives pay themselves massive bonuses as rewards for failure whilst writing contract specifications and prices that do not enable workers to get a living wage rate for the job.
“Mitie staff do hard working jobs and just want a fair reward for it."
Contact: Chris Jukes on 07870 176733 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
 3,000 GMB SELLAFIELD MEMBERS WILL WALK OUT AGAIN AFTER TALKS FAIL TO DELIVER A NEW OFFER THAT MEETS WORKFORCE ASPIRATIONS
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
GMB members are seeking a decent pay increase that makes up for some of the ground they have lost over recent years when pay rises have failed as a whole to keep up with inflation says GMB.
Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/new-sellafield-strike