CLEANERS who work at Sellafield are being asked by their union if they would be prepared to strike as part of ongoing pay disputes.

Employed by British facility managing company Mitie, the workers, who clean premises at the Sellafield nuclear site in Copeland, are taking part in a consultative ballot to determine how willing they would be to take industrial action.

The workers being balloted are not employed by Sellafield.

Different to a formal ballot, a consultative ballot, also known as an indicative ballot, is described as a ballot which asks members whether they might be prepared to take industrial action about a particular issue.

Trade unions are free to hold these ballots in line with their rules, but the trade union will need to hold a further legal ballot if they wish to proceed with any industrial action.

This ballot is being held among the Mitie workers at Sellafield who are part of the GMB union.

The union said hundreds of cleaners at Sellafield are taking part in this ballot over what they call a ‘zero per cent pay offer’.

The union said the ballot started last week, on Thursday, November 24, and is due to end on Friday, December 8.

Oli Slack, a GMB Organiser, said: “Sellafield’s cleaners do a difficult, sometimes dirty job keeping this huge nuclear site running smoothly. 

“Bosses promised them a pay offer at the beginning of November to help with the devastating cost of living crisis, but so far they’ve had nothing and workers are angry.

“Mitie needs to get something on the table sharpish to nip any strike in the bud.”

A spokesperson from Mitie said: “We’re disappointed that GMB is considering a ballot for industrial action given that annual pay talks are ongoing.

“We recently announced a £10million Winter Support package, designed to help the lowest paid colleagues across Mitie with the rising cost of living.

“This is in addition to annual pay talks at Sellafield and we continue discussions around how we can further support our frontline colleagues.

“As always, our priority is to ensure that services are delivered, sites remain secure and there is no disruption should strike action occur in the future.”