Sellafield security guards postpone planned strike

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SellafieldImage source, PA
Image caption,
About 180 security and catering staff at Sellafield are involved in the pay dispute

A planned strike by security guards and catering staff at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in Cumbria has been postponed.

About 180 staff employed by outsourcing firm Mitie, were due to start the first of two 10-day strikes on Friday.

But the Unite union said it had delayed the action until 24 April and offered the company an "olive branch".

Mitie said it only negotiated with the GMB union at Sellafield, but that all staff had benefited from pay rises.

Unite members say they want an increase in their currently hourly rate of £8.45.

'Constructive relationship'

The union said it had delayed industrial action as a "gesture of goodwill" to allow meaningful negotiations to take place.

Regional officer Ryan Armstrong said: "If Mitie is serious about resolving this dispute then the company will use this opportunity to enter into meaningful negotiations.

"Mitie must recognise that this is the company's last chance to resolve the dispute before strikes."

A Mitie spokesman said: "GMB is the only recognised union on our soft services contract at Sellafield. This continues to be a constructive relationship.

"Following recent successful pay negotiations with the GMB, we have increased hourly rates for employees at Sellafield."

According to the government website, the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage rate from April 2019 is £8.21 for those aged 25 years and above, prior to that it was £7.83.

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