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Fellside CHP plant workers based at Sellafield plan to escalate industrial action

[A]ngry workers employed at Cape Industrial Services Limited on the Fellside CHP plant, based at Sellafield, in Cumbria are preparing to ratchet up industrial action in their long-running dispute over terms and conditions.

Unite, the UK’s largest union, representing 19 workers, including scaffolders, thermal insulation engineers and labourers have been operating a continuous overtime and work to rule since Tuesday 3 January 2017.

The dispute is over workers attaining improved terms and conditions as stipulated by the National Agreement for the Engineering and Construction Industry (NAECI).

Unite members first raised concerns over their terms and conditions with Cape management in May last year, but the company has failed to address the issues.

The action will include four 24-hour stoppages starting on Thursday (26 January). This will be followed by further stoppages on the following Thursdays: 2 February, 9 February and 16 February. Further action could be on the cards unless an agreement can be reached with the management.

Unite is calling for Cape management to engage in urgent and meaningful talks to avert a damaging dispute.

Unite regional officer, Ryan Armstrong said: “The company has been dragging its feet with Unite for over eight months.

“All our workers want is for Cape management to align workers’ terms and conditions to those recommended by NAECI and other workers at the plant.

“The industrial action is coming at a time when vital preparation work is to commence for a major shutdown to the Fellside CHP plant planned for the near future. The loss of production will have an impact on the shutdown work – and if the work is not completed on time it may start to affect the vital steam supply to the main Sellafield site.

“Unite has a proud track record of working with employers to resolve disputes and is urging Cape management to get back to serious talks to avert possibly a damaging dispute.”

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