Unite has offered an ‘olive branch’ to troubled outsourcer Mitie, to create an opportunity to resolve the scheduled industrial action at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria.
This week the workers were due to begin a 10 day strike, in a dispute over pay, scheduled to start on Friday 19 April, but Unite has now amended the dispute to begin on Wednesday 24 April until Monday, April 29, as a ‘gesture of goodwill in order to allow meaningful negotiations to take place’.
The dispute which concerns security guards, cleaners, catering, vending, laundry and environmental operatives is a result of Unite’s 180 members rejecting Mitie’s pay offer, with workers receiving just £8.45 an hour.
Unite’s members voted by 98 per cent in favour of strike action on a 70 per cent turnout.
A second 10 day strike beginning on Friday, May 4 concluding on Monday, May 13, remains scheduled to go ahead if there is no resolution to the dispute.
“As a gesture of goodwill, Unite has offered Mitie an olive branch by delaying when strike action will begin,” said Unite regional officer Ryan Armstrong.
“If Mitie is serious about resolving this dispute then the company will use this opportunity to enter into meaningful negotiations,” he added.
“Mitie must recognise that this is the company’s last chance to resolve the dispute before strikes, which will cause serious disruption across the Sellafield complex, begin.
“Unite members are no longer going to accept rates below the real living wage, when undertaking challenging roles on a maximum security site.”