Union confirms power station strike action back on amid pay dispute

The union said that the previously cancelled 24-hour strike action is back on for Wednesday.

Hundreds of workers at a nuclear power station in the Highlands are set to walk out after rejecting a revised pay offer.

Unite the union confirmed that its 500-plus strong membership employed by Nuclear Restoration Services Limited (NRS) based at Dounreay power station voted to reject a revised pay deal.

The union said that the previously cancelled 24-hour strike action is back on for Wednesday with an overtime ban set to come into effect from the following day.

Unite said 80% of members with a 92% turnout voted to reject the pay offer, which proposed a one-off £500 payment on top of a basic 4.5% increase.

The union maintains the offer amounts to a substantial pay cut as the true rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.4% when the pay increase was due in April 2023.

A further day of action is also scheduled on May 29, but Unite has confirmed that it is now “actively” preparing to add further strike dates if no movement is made by NRS.

Unite’s NRS membership includes craft technicians, general operators, chemical and electrical engineers, and maintenance fitters and safety advisors.

“The membership previously backed strike action by 85.5% on a high turnout of 82.3%.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s growing membership at Dounreay power station have overwhelmingly rejected this revised pay offer because it still represents a significant real terms pay cut.”

“Unite will continue to back our members at Dounreay power station all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Marc Jackson, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite has repeatedly told NRS that pay offers which amount to a significant pay cut just isn’t going to be tolerated.

“We have a growing membership at Dounreay, which is down to the hard work of our shop stewards and NRS need to realise, if they don’t already, that we are heading for prolonged industrial action.

“Unite is actively looking at further days of action because NRS seem incapable of resolving this dispute through negotiation.

“The company should be under no illusions as to the determination of our members to get the pay rise they deserve.”

The remuneration package of the highest paid NRS (formerly Magnox) director went up from £331,000 to £651,000 at March 2023, and the company paid dividends of £2.1m in the same period.

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