Sellafield scraps treat for OAPs Add your comments
Last updated at 11:54, Thursday, 06 November 2008
BRITISH Nuclear Fuels has scrapped its annual Christmas treats for Sellafield’s “pensioners” – to make a saving of £50,000.
There will be no Christmas parties or gift vouchers sent out to thousands of ex-employees.
Nearly 30 years of generosity have come to an end because BNFL itself will end – several weeks before Christmas.
Nuclear Management Partners, which will become the new parent company after November 24, has already decided not to foot the bill as the Christmas treats are not a priority – but once it takes over, NMP is set to announce “substantial financial support” for the area.
But the Christmas goodwill “cancellations” mean that £30,000 will be lost to the local Christmas economy. This is the worth of the 3,000 £10 vouchers issued for former employees to spend locally at shops such as Woolworth and Boots.
Site operators Sellafield Ltd said: “We are confident that the majority of our retired employees will understand and appreciate our position and accept that this represents no diminution of the gratitude the company has for its former employees.”
But Phil Holland, chairman of the Sellafield Retired Employees Association, declared: “The £50,000 it costs for the parties and the vouchers is peanuts to what’s spent at Sellafield, stopping it won’t making an atom of difference to profits and losses.
“Yes, it is a bit Scrooge-like, everybody will feel let down; I hear that management had a great and glorious goodbye ‘do’ down in London, but that was up to them.”
Mr Holland, a Sellafield worker for 26 years in research and development, said: “We were all like a family working in the nuclear industry at Sellafield, having the Christmas parties was a way of keeping that family together. I think it’s ill advised to say the least, just a great shame.”
One trades union representative who declined to be named declared: “BNFL have done a miserable thing at a time when the company say they are ready to pay out £1,500 as a goodbye bonus to each of the current workforce if the industrial action is called off. There’s £15 million sitting on the mantelpiece for this but before they go into the blue yonder there’s not enough money for the pensioners who given such good service over the years.
“I suppose we could see it coming, remember last year when they put the parties back until after Christmas over the business of the kitchen dishwashers breaking down.”
Sellafield Ltd said that for the treats to continue funds would have to come from the site clean up programme or from Sellafield’s socio-economic fund for community benefit.
A spokesman said: “It is not appropriate for either of these sources of funds to be used for a party which although well received affected a relatively small number of the community. There is no diminution of the gratitude the company has for its former employees. We continue to be committed to the site benevolent fund which is intended to help our former employees who have fallen on hard times.”
Nuclear Management Partners said that after the shares transfer on November 24 “we are expecting to announce substantial financial support both for the socio-economic development of West Cumbria and a range of local community and charitable activities. These will be directed at particular needs agreed in partnership with the NDA, the site licence company and the local community.
“Under these circumstances NMP regrets it does not believe it appropriate to use funds to finance the Sellafield retirees party before giving due consideration to other social priorities in the area.”
First published at 15:46, Wednesday, 05 November 2008
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
What about all the directors who are getting a bucket load of money until next year and they will not be working for the company after this month. A lot more that Â£50,000 will be spent on them, if they want to save money, don't pay the directors.
these pensioners worked in poor conditions and for not as much money.Everyone knows that not one person works at sellafield and is well overpaid.What about the Â£1500 loyalty bonus they are getting nothing mentioned about that. ex employee(not pensioner)
View all 7 comments on this article