Strike Ballot Looms At Dounreay Nuclear Site Over Derisory Below Inflation Pay Offer
Joint trade unions at the Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness will ballot their members for industrial action after employer Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) refused to increase a paltry pay offer previously rejected three times by workers.
Crisis talks between GMB, Prospect and Unite trade unions and DSRL ended yesterday without resolution after the employer stonewalled any possibility of increasing a derisory below inflation 1 per cent pay offer.
The joint trade unions will announce a timetable for a formal industrial ballot of its memberships imminently, which could result in a shutdown of the decommissioning site in the coming months.
DSRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent body organisation (PBO), Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, increased its profits in 2016 for the second consecutive year to over £9 million, since its 2014 takeover of the UK Magnox decommissioning contract.
GMB Scotland Organiser Liz Gordon said: “Our members have helped generate healthy profits and remuneration for DSRL and its executives but this below inflation pay offer is derisory.
We are in the business of defending the interests of our members who deliver the decommissioning of this safety intensive site and we will settle for nothing less than the proper recognition and reward for this workforce.”
Prospect National Secretary for Scotland Richard Hardy added: “DSRL has increased its operating profit year on year since it took over the site and both shareholder dividends and directors pay increased by over 20%.
This is a public contract and profits and shareholder dividends are being subsidised by the taxpayer and by the workers themselves at Dounreay - this is simply unacceptable and DSRL are miles off a realistic offer.”
Unite industrial Officer Ian Ewing also added: “And what about the impact on the local economy? When the profits have been taken and the site is finally decommissioned, what's left for Caithness?
A 1 per cent rise is totally inadequate – it’s bad for workers and it’s bad for Caithness and DSRL need to think again or risk the real possibility of strike action at Dounreay.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Liz Gordon on 07920 838588 or Prospect National Secretary, Richard Hardy, on 07718 632171.