24-hour strike going ahead at AWE Aldermaston today
Workers at AWE Aldermaston are striking today (Wednesday).
Prospect members at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) headquarters at Aldermaston are planning a 24-hour strike over a pay dispute from 7am today (Wednesday) until 7am tomorrow (Thursday).
Pickets will be operational at entrances to the site, which maintains the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
General secretary of Prospect, Mike Clancy, said: “Our members at AWE have been left with no option but to take this action after years of stagnating pay.
“It is simply unbelievable that within the organisation responsible for maintaining our nuclear deterrent, people are struggling with the basic cost-of-living.
“We have also seen a disappointing lack of proper engagement from the employer, typified by the pay offer being presented as a done deal, with no rationale given for the number, nor any space for negotiation.”
A total of 67 per cent of Prospect union members voted strongly in favour of industrial action after it said AWE — which recently became an arms-length body of the MoD — refused to enter pay negotiations, presenting a final offer of six per cent, which fell well below the union’s expectations.
A total of 82 per cent of workers also voted in favour of action short of a strike out of a 61 per cent turnout.
“If the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and AWE don’t think again and make a pay offer that reflects the still rocketing cost-of-living, there is a real risk that AWE will struggle to recruit and retain the skills that it needs,” added Mr Clancy.
An AWE spokesperson responded by saying: “We are disappointed that Prospect has announced it will be taking strike action.
“Pre-planned contingency measures will be implemented as required to maintain the safety and security of our sites.
“This remains our highest priority.
“Our offer remains competitive, and we continue to seek a resolution with Prospect.”