Men 'sold out' over salary at Sellafield

After it was revealed that male employees at Sellafield nuclear power plant are paid £4,000 less than females that do a similar job, 370 men have announced that they will take legal action over unfair pay.

Solicitors will note that the action, which is being taken by general union GMB, is the first ever of its kind to be brought by a union in Britain or Northern Ireland, as pay discrimination claims are usually brought by women.

The men concerned earn around £23,000 per year working as health physics monitors, while the mostly-female team of data inputters earn up to £4,000 more, in what, the union claims, are comparable jobs.

Workplace Law reports that if the claim is successful, not only can the male workers expect a pay rise to £27,000, but they could also win six years' back pay to a value of around £25,000.

Steve Gibbons, GMB regional organiser, said: "For some time, the monitors at the plant have felt their responsibility warrants more pay. The company agreed to do an evaluation, the results of which would be binding. That came back with the result that the monitors had scored more highly than some people, like data inputters, who are paid £3,000 to 4,000 a year more.

"The company's response was to say that the data inputters were overpaid. So, as a result of that, because the monitors are a mainly male group, we're looking at pursuing an equal pay claim. We're taking legal advice on our prospect of success, which we think is good."

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