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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Sellafield contractors lay off 17 builders Add your comments

SEVENTEEN construction workers have lost their jobs at Sellafield.

The group was made redundant last week, by contractors Laing O’Rourke, after a stage of a store construction project came to an end. Those who have left include 11 local workers and six from away.

Sellafield asks its contracting companies to give preference to suitably qualified local workers where possible, but claims by some that Laing O’Rourke has acted against this policy in this instance have has been dismissed by both the contractors and Sellafield. A spokesman for Laing O’Rourke said: “We have a policy of using local labour wherever possible. As any project progresses, the workforce requirements change.

“Consequently a small number of employees have now left. These included both local and travelling workers at an approximate 2:1 ratio, which is broadly the same ratio of total employees working on the project.”

A total of 48 local workers and 25 travelling workers were involved in the project.

A Sellafield spokesman added: “The nature of contracting is that employers will flex the size of their workforces as particular work packages on projects come to an end.

“Sellafield Ltd works closely with the Whitehaven Jobcentre Plus to match up contractor redundancies with new work. We will continue to do this though it is not always possible to match vacancies to employees immediately.

“However, it has to be recognised that there are many other factors – including statutory rights – which contracting employers have to consider, such as length of service with the company and individual work records.

“Laing O’Rourke has acted in accordance with usual practice.”

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