There may be trouble on the horizon as Sellafield security staff have threatened to take industrial action.

Nearly four years after walking out over a pay dispute, the guards have threatened to do so yet again after rejecting an offer from employers Mitie.

GMB is the recognised union for employees working on the Civilian Guard Force contract, which is the main security operation in Sellafield. Any ballot relating to these colleagues does not include staff working on Mitie’s soft services contract.

Discussing the initial offer, Northern Regional Organiser Oli Slack said: “Staff have voted with a 99% majority for industrial action ballot with GMB. They are some of the lowest paid people on the Sellafield site and Sellafield’s first line of defence on accessing the site.

“An offer of 0.7% and a non-consolidated £300 cash one-off payment was rejected. We are disappointed and shocked by the offer made by Mitie.”

In response to the Union, a spokesperson for Mitie said: “We’re disappointed that GMB are considering a ballot for industrial action. We remain open to constructive talks to achieve a resolution. As always, our priority is to ensure that services are delivered, sites remain secure and there is no disruption should strike action occur.”

In November 2020, all Civilian Guard Force employees were offered a salary uplift in line with inflation at the time and a one-off bonus. These were in addition to other benefits awarded to frontline colleagues across the business during the pandemic, including an additional day of annual leave, virtual GP services, life assurance and free Mitie shares. This offer was rejected by GMB.

Mitie continued: “We have a number of contingency measures in place to ensure that we maintain safe staffing levels during any industrial action. However, we remain open to constructive talks and our preference is to find a resolution.”

A spokesperson from Sellafield said: “Our priority is to ensure our site remains safe and secure during any industrial action.

“We have numerous contingency measures available to ensure this. This includes a contractual commitment by Mitie to maintain minimum safety manning levels.

“In addition, we will work with other agencies to try to minimise disruption for the public.

“This dispute does not involve Sellafield Ltd. It is a dispute between Mitie and its employees working on the Sellafield Civilian Guard Force contract.”

It is believed that Mitie will send over a revised offer next week, however a ballot calling for action may be sent around the same time.