FIREFIGHTERS at Sellafield nuclear processing plant in Cumbria walked out on strike yesterday in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.
The half-day strike began at 6am and will be repeated tomorrow.
The firefighters, who are members of general union GMB, had been due to strike on July 24 but suspended the action for last-ditch talks.
GMB says management has now reneged on a pledge to implement a promised settlement.
Senior organiser Chris Jukes said: “Management have broken their promises to the firefighters — and have failed to make a fair offer that would put an end to this dispute.
“Sellafield Ltd has spun a message of greed, with 2,500 senior personnel on Sellafield earning eye-watering bonuses which are in every sense of the word an obscenity compared to what firefighters were promised.
“There is a well-developed master and servant culture at Sellafield — senior management receive top bonuses costing nearly £20 million per year.
“GMB members have been receptive to Sellafield management when they have been looking at work in what is known as warm zones areas — in other words, firefighters entering areas where a catastrophic incident might take place.
“However, despite the apparent progress and promises more than two months ago, it appears senior management in Sellafield Ltd have gone bent on their undertakings and returned to the incompetent communications and negotiating style that has become the way of some top brass at Sellafield in recent years.”
He accused the company of seeking to “denigrate and bad mouth firefighters.”
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.”
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