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12/10/2017

GMB Warns Of Christmas Electricity Shortage Due To Potential Strike

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Potential strike action by workers at both of Scotland's nuclear power stations could leave the country with a power shortage this Christmas, according to GMB Scotland.

The union is set to launch a nationwide consultative ballot with workers after EDF Energy revealed it would cut a long-standing agreement covering pay, terms and conditions during statutory outage periods.

The ballot will include the 1,500 workers at Scotland's Hunterston B and Torness stations, which produce 35% of Scotland's total electricity generation, delivering power to 3.7 million homes.

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Gary Smith, GMB Scottish Secretary, said industrial action at the facilities could have "profound implications for electricity generation and supply across Scotland".

However, he added workers have been left with little choice due to EDF's cuts.

"Outages are a statutory requirement, a safety critical process delivering the maintenance of our nuclear reactors," he continued. "During these periods staff become fully available, work flexibly to accommodate the employer's requirements and receive enhanced rates in return.

"The outage rates were negotiated by trade unions because this is an intensive period of work that places significant demands on staff across the UK's nuclear fleet and it is ludicrous that a hugely profitable multi-national like EDF is trying to break this agreement.

"This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but we hope that EDF will see sense, withdraw this cuts imposition on our members' terms and conditions and return to negotiations with GMB and our sister trade unions."

The UK-wide ballot across the EDF nuclear fleet will run from Monday 16 October until Monday, 06 November.

(LM/JP)

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