Whitehaven News

The Whitehaven News


Thursday, April 26, 2001

A SELLAFIELD worker sacked by BNFL for chewing gum in one of the site's "active" areas won his job back hours before his wedding.

The young process worker from Mirehouse got married last Saturday - 48 hours after hearing that his appeal against dismissal had been upheld.

He is on honeymoon this week but before he returns to work next Monday union officials hope to have fixed a meeting with management to try and prevent any repeat of the situation.

Shop stewards were so incensed by the severity of the punishment that they were ready to hold an industrial action ballot if the sacking was not lifted.

GMB convenor John Kane said there was no longer any question of the ballot taking place.

"The disciplinary panel accepted it was not a malicious act or a dismissable offence," he said.

"We must have clear and fair treatment for all which was not the case here.

"It is right that this man has got his job back but he should not have been sacked in the first place.

"We are now going to have a meeting with management to clarify and iron out the issues."

Eating and drinking in a Sellafield active area is not allowed and the rule extends to chewing gum.

The process worker concerned was found chewing as he entered the fuel-handling plant on reporting for work.

He was charged with the offence, despite giving what work colleagues and union officials thought was a fair explanation