Nuclear strike: Decommissioning workers to vote on industrial action over pensions

 
Mark Sands
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Sellafield Nuclear Clean Up Cost Reaches 67.5bn GBP
The unions are debating a strike in either late February or early March (Source: Getty)

The UK could be facing industrial disputes at nuclear power plants after unions agreed to ballot decommissioning workers over a potential strike.

Workers at plants including Sellafield could launch industrial action after the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority kicked off a statutory consultation over changes to final salary schemes for staff at 19 sites across the UK.

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In a statement, the GMB said that it had reached agreement with Prospect and Unite to poll staff, with a first strike day expected in either February or March.

The NDA has claimed that final salary schemes for workers fall under plans to reform public sector pensions.

However, the GMB argues that this goes against guarantees previously offered by the government.

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GMB national secretary for the nuclear sector Justin Bowden said: "Nuclear workers have played their part in keeping the country's lights on for decades.

"Senior representatives were unanimous that if this government is determined to break its promises and is not prepared to negotiate, there is no alternative but to ballot members to take strike action."

An NDA spokesman said: "Government policy is that all public sector final salary pensions schemes should reformed by 2018, and four million public sector workers have already moved to new pension arrangements.

"Specific decisions on how to change the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estate pension schemes have yet to be taken. We have begun a formal consultation today.”

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