Troubled outsourcing giant Mitie has been accused of sabotaging an anti-bullying campaign being undertaken at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria.
Unite has been distributing literature and stickers throughout the Sellafield site, demanding a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment. The campaign began after it was revealed that Sellafield site was suffering from endemic bullying.
However, supervisors and the catering manager employed by Mitie, which is a sub-contractor at Sellafield providing so called ‘soft services’ (catering, cleaning, security, etc), have been systemically removing the literature from canteens and changing areas. This means that all Sellafield workers and not just Mitie employees are being denied access to the anti-bullying information.
The Mitie employees are replacing the literature with flyers critical of Unite and other materials promoting their own internal anti-bullying initiatives.
In response to the systematic removal of the anti-bullying literature Unite’s regional officer Ryan Armstrong wrote to Sellafield’s management requesting that the practice of removing the union’s literature should cease immediately, but no action has been taken.
Mitie’s sabotaging of Unite’s anti-bullying initiative, is a reaction to the long running industrial action which is currently occurring at Sellafield.
Over 180 Unite members employed by Mitie at Sellafield have been taking strike action in protest at Mitie’s low pay policy. The workers including security guards, cleaners, catering, vending, laundry and environmental operatives who are paid just £8.21 an hour.
The latest 10 days of strike action began yesterday Sunday, May 19 and will continue until Wednesday, May 29.
“It is appalling that Mitie is deliberately sabotaging the anti-bullying campaign being run by Unite and Sellafield’s management is allowing them to do so,” said Ryan Armstrong.
“Either Sellafield is serious about tackling the culture of bullying and harassment which is endemic on its site or it is not,” he added.
“Deeds speak louder than words and currently Sellafield’s silence and inaction is deafening.
“Mitie’s local management at Sellafield is clearly out of control and the company nationally and Sellafield’s management need to take action to curtail these actions.
“Endemic bullying is not going to be successfully tackled if unions are held at arms-length by the very management who are guilty of creating the problem in the first place.”