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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Nuclear workers ‘second class citizens’

A SELLAFIELD union is demanding pay talks with bosses to put a halt to its members being “treated like second-class citizens”.

The GMB, which represents the site’s 2,500 industrial workers, claims that Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) and Sellafield Ltd have reneged on promises made to review members’ pay.

Sellafield Ltd refutes the claim that its workers are underpaid or undervalued, and adds that its “doors remain open” to discuss industrial relations issues.

The union launched its campaign – First-Class Industrial Workforce Treated Like Second-Class Citizens – this week with the aim of instigating pay and grading talks with the site’s management.

Joe Murdock, convenor for GMB, said: “The Sellafield industrial workforce are the backbone of the site. We are the ones on the front line of the clean-up, taking dosage and delivering the business.

“We work in hard, and at times dangerous, environments. Why then are we treated like second-class citizens?

“We are the most important people on the site but the least valued. We are being let down by the pay structure, and promises made to us to review this have not been kept.”

GMB’s shop stewards have been putting up campaign posters around the Sellafield site pointing to recent media coverage of money wasted within the nuclear industry. In addition, all 2,500 members on the site have been sent emails detailing the campaign.

Industrial workers include health physics monitors and plant operators.

A spokesman for Sellafield Ltd responded: “The pay, terms and conditions enjoyed by Sellafield Ltd employees compare very favourably with those of other industrial workers across the country – particularly in Cumbria and the wider northern region.

“This is because there is, rightly, a recognition that the work carried out on our site in managing the UK’s nuclear legacy is undertaken by a highly-skilled and experienced workforce who deserve to be properly rewarded for the challenging and complex work they do.

“While we cannot accept the assertion that anyone at Sellafield is underpaid, we do recognise that there is a need for us to work through some industrial relations issues, particularly with regard to concerns that the unions have around pay and grading for industrial staff.

“Unfortunately GMB and Unite have, at present, withdrawn from our regular meetings, denying their members the opportunity to have their voices heard. Our door remains open should they wish to talk to us.

“Our firm view is that for Sellafield Ltd to stand the best chance of achieving strategic objectives and keeping the site at the heart of Britain’s energy future, we need to work together with our employees, their representatives, and the wider community.”

Have your say

I thought I would put some of my views on here I am fed up of people writing on here that sellafield works are highly paid and lazy…… they are not highly paid fact. They are highly paid for the area I used to work at sellafield as a project engineer and I left and went into the oil & gas I now get paid x10 that what I did at sellafield. Cleaners offshore get paid more than most people at sellafield (managers included). I think the workers of sellafield (guys at the bottom) have every right to want more money for the jobs they do. Don’t forget that staff people at sellafield with there so called high wages will have to pay PAYE tax which quite allot of them will have to pay 40% tax so will only walk away with around 20-30K (higher paid bands) a year which isn’t allot when you think about it. People in band 4 (tradesmen & the likes) will only earn (before tax) about £400-450 a week!! (at an estimate) most if not all employees in the oil and gas will take home (after tax) more than that a day!!!I think that the people that are commenting below saying they are highly paid and shouldn’t be complaining and are deluded. Most of these guys work hard and deserve everything they get! some of the conditions of work on that site isn’t very good even worse if you’re in B30 or have to work in full PVC suites.This being said I don’t think they have helped themselves by comparing their pay to second class citizens. This will have most likely been a few daft union reps trying to get the story to a wider audience and as usual the sellafield hating press have jumped all over the comment that was more than likely taken out of context. Don’t forget they have to sell papers for a living they need to stir a few people up to do this. I also think some sellafield workers don’t help themselves I often hear them bragging how much they are earning and how little work they have to do for it. I think that these people need to get a grip and look at the rest of the big bad wide world outside of west Cumbria not one person down there can really say they are highly paid (maybe with the exception of directors) in comparison to other industries and areas. Also the stories that come off that site about people going to sleep on night shift and the likes 9/10 times this is lies and it’s a few idiots that actually do this. You normally find these are the same people who have delusions of grandeur when it comes to there money. I also think these type of people spoil it for the rest of the hard workers who are looking for a bit more cash to show they are appreciated. Sellafield directors know that most of the people that work on that site have done so since they left school and they also know that most of them wouldn’t be able to get employed anywhere else and get paid the same money so they have them over a barrel so they are never going to give them high wages rises.I normally wouldn’t stick up for sellafield workers mostly because of the points I have highlighted above about the mentality of some of the idiots that work down there, but I think the trades men that work hard and are on the likes of band 4 wages ect. should get a cash boost. I have worked alongside building managers and area mangers on that site and most of them wouldn’t know how to use a spanner they have left school at 16 done a sellafield apprentership came out there time weren’t very good on the tools so they get fast tracked to the top learnt all the sellafield paper work and call themselves managers with not one degree, HNC or HND to their name (basically NVQ and Highers if they are lucky). While the guys who were good on the tools stay on the tools do the jobs on time and to budget the same manager then gets the high fives form the directors and poor Joe blogs on the tools gets nothing ? I think if most people where in this situation it would be frustrating? And they would want more? I know I would!!I honestly believe sellafield top brass should take a step back and look at the situation they have. Most mangers down there (most not all) I often wondered if they dress themselves in the morning? as they didn’t have a clue about anything technical if it was to do with profit, down time and reading a gantt chart they were fine, but anything else I would say they didn’t have a clue. While the guys on the tools the so called band 4 lads where brilliant they knew the job better than most and they all bent over backwards to help. This was my experience when I was contracting down there a project engineer. All this being said I think sellafield top brass need to get rid of some of the dead wood this would shake up a few people at the top (managers) to actually do some work and stop finding ways to stop job 9/10 times they stop the job as they don’t have a clue what’s going on and it all get a bit scary for them. it is the only industry I have come across where things are constantly engineered with double jeopardy (mostly because the managers...

Posted by Previous Sellafield Worker on 21 December 2013 at 15:37

Boredofthebull, would it be possible for you to explain exactly what you mean by "sellafields crayon and blanket approach to training" please? I have never heard this expression before but it sounds as if it might be interesting. Thank you.

Posted by David Scameron on 17 December 2013 at 10:14

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