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Nuclear workers to discuss strike over pensions

Sellafield

Union representatives for workers at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) are to meet today (Monday) to discuss a possible strike over proposed £660M cuts to pensions.

Workers at 19 sites including Sellafield and Hinkley A will be impacted by the NDA plans. A statutory consultation by the NDA about proposed government cuts to final salary pension benefits is being carried out until 10 March.

Around 11,000 workers who work for Sellafield, Magnox, Direct Rail Services, Dounreay Site Restoration, Low Level Waste Repository and International Nuclear Services will be under the consultation.

“What the government are saying is that the privatised Site License Companies who run these nuclear facilities are in fact public sector organisations and therefore Sellafield, Dounreay and the Magnox sites should go through the same reforms as the rest of the public sector itself,” said GMB national secretary for the nuclear sector Justin Bowden.

“This is a point blank betrayal of the promises made by [former prime minister] Margaret Thatcher to nuclear communities when the electricity industry was privatised in the 1990s and the public sector-like pension being proposed would make it by far the worst across the public sector.”

An NDA spokesman said: “Government policy is that all public sector final salary pensions schemes should reformed by 2018, and 4Mpublic sector workers have already moved to new pension arrangements. Specific decisions on how to change the NDA’s estate pension schemes have yet to be taken. We expect to begin formal consultation on 9 January.”

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