Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 09:09 UK

Nuclear workers in strike threat

There has been no Prospect industrial action at the plant in 19 year

Workers at Sellafield nuclear plant are threatening industrial action in a dispute over pay.

They are unhappy with a 2% pay increase offer and are due to be balloted on strike action, the union Prospect said.

Staff will also be consulted about action at two smaller sites in Risley, Warrington and Capenhurst on the Wiral.

Managers at Sellafield said they were prepared to negotiate further and are offering a new pay incentive scheme up to 2% on top of the rise.

Union officials stressed they did not blame the plant's management for the pay offer and said it was the fault of the government for "tying their hands."

Union representative, Mike Graham, said there had not been any Prospect industrial action at the plant for 19 years and that a strike would be the "last resort".

'Brilliant job'

He said: "We want a fair pay offer but talks are currently at an impasse.

"I don't want to criticise the management team at Sellafield, they have done a brilliant job in difficult circumstances over the years, and I believe their hands have been tied by the government.

"We don't want to have to take action, but sometimes you have no choice, but action will be the last thing we look at."

A statement from Sellafield management said: "The company offered an increase in salaries of 2% and the opportunity to earn a further incentive bonus of up to 2% of salary funded by efficiency improvements.

"We made it clear that we are prepared to negotiate further on the details of this incentive scheme.

"Our offer is intended to help increase the efficiency of the business which is a necessary step towards securing our long-term future.

"The offer is in line with the government's recently published public sector pay guidelines."

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