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New Industrial Action Set to Hit Dounreay Power Station

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Unite blasts Nuclear Restoration Services over pay impasse

Unite the union has today (Tuesday 28 May) announced extra days of industrial action set to hit Dounreay power station as part of an ongoing pay dispute.

Over 500 Unite members employed by Nuclear Restoration Services Limited (NRS) will now take 24-hour strike action on 19 June in addition to the action scheduled for tomorrow (29 May).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“NRS has the ability to make its workers a fair pay offer and the fact that it refuses to do so while risking shutdowns at Dounreay speaks volumes.”

“Unite’s growing membership at the power station remain resolute and the company’s intransigence will only fuel their determination.

“Unite fully back our members at Dounreay power station in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite can also confirm that an overtime ban and an end to working voluntary appointments will continue from 1 to 18 June, and thereafter from 20 to 30 June.

Voluntary appointments are essential to ensuring the site meets the delivery targets in the lifetime plan.

Unite members have suspended these appointments as part of the ongoing industrial action.

An overtime ban will lead to maintenance work which usually occurs at the weekend having to be undertaken during the working week.

This could lead to the site having to be closed down.

Unite can further confirm since the initial day of strike action, NRS has not returned to the negotiating table.

The union’s membership overwhelmingly rejected a revised pay offer which proposed a one-off £500 payment on top of a basic 4.5 per cent increase.

Unite maintains the offer amounts to a substantial pay cut as the true rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 13.5 per cent as measured in March 2023, when the pay increase was due.

Unite’s NRS membership includes craft technicians, general operators, engineers, maintenance fitters and safety advisors.

The membership previously backed strike action by 85.5 per cent on a high turnout of 82.3 per cent. 

Marc Jackson, Unite industrial officer, added:

“Unite is extremely disappointed that the senior management team at NRS have not even made contact to resolve this pay dispute.

“We have warned NRS that unless a revised pay offer is put on the table which our members can consider, then we are heading for prolonged industrial action.

“The extra days of industrial action will have a substantial impact on the ability of NRS to undertake essential maintenance and safety work.

“It will also lead to Dounreay potentially being closed at points because the company simply won’t have the people to do the jobs.”

The remuneration package of the highest paid NRS (formerly Magnox) director went up from £331,000 to £651,000 at March 2023, and the company paid dividends of £2.1 million in the same period.

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