Outsourcer Mitie has turned to bullying measures in an effort to weaken a strike at Sellafield nuclear processing plant which was set to start on Friday this week.
Mitie bosses threatened workers with disciplinary action if they did not reveal if they were Unite union members and were intending to strike.
The threat came as workers employed as security guards, cleaners, catering, vending and laundry operatives were preparing to take part in two ten-day strikes over pay rates of just £8.45 per hour.
Unite’s legal team has written to Mitie warning them that their tactics are illegal.
The first strike was set to begin on Friday this week and end on 29 April. A further strike is planned from Saturday 4 May to Monday 13 May.
Workers employed by Mitie at London’s City airport are being balloted over a new pay offer that came after a unanimous vote for industrial action.
The dispute involves 32 security guards and those who provide assistance to people with mobility issues.
The Unite union members will vote on the offer of paying the London Living Wage, currently £10.55 an hour, from 1 July this year.
However, Unite warned that the offer does not address all its concerns.
These include demands for improved sick pay, adequate rest break facilities and recognition of Unite for collective bargaining purposes.
Meanwhile security staff at Southampton General Hospital who are employed by Mitie were set to stage their second strike on Thursday of this week
Money is there to pay Mitie workers
There is plenty of money to settle all these strikes in the workers’ favour.
Mitie told stock markets last month that it expects profits and revenue to rise.
In a trading update for the year to the end of March, the company said it estimated its operating profit would be in the range of £84 million to £87 million.
This is an increase from £83 million profit the previous year.