A letter from a brave Sellafield employee sent to the Whitehaven news..

This letter comes from within an industry riddled with mistruths and  grooming, and demonstrates how the writer feels about the Sellafield Workers Campaign (SWC), particularly in relation to the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) and the failed Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) process.

SIR – Recently a copy of the Sellafield Workers Campaign (SWC) Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) consultation submission was emailed to me.

While I do agree with some of the document, there are other sections that I’m not happy with.

I work at Sellafield, have done so for 30 years, and pay my union fees, so that I may be represented in pay talks, and other industrial relation issues. This is where my association with my union ends.

The SWC is a small organisation made up from shop stewards, from differing unions. I acknowledge their right to campaign on issues, but do feel that they have absolutely no right to declare that they represent 10,000 employees outside of the work environment.

I’m a member of one trade union, and am not a member of an amalgamation of three. I have not signed up to this organisation. I didn’t vote for this, nor did I agree for them to represent me, in my community.

The SWC assertion that they represent all employees is disingenuous.

I was one of the Sellafield employees who got in touch with Eddie Martin during the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) fiasco. I urged Mr Martin to say no, if there was a risk of a GDF being sunk beneath the Lake District National Park – which will soon (hopefully) become a Unesco World Heritage Site. I still maintain this stance. There has to be limits to this stupidity. To define no red line, and have an open-ended process, where the views of the public are ignored is not democratic, and is dangerous.

We are being rail-roaded into accepting a sub-standard repository, where engineering takes primacy over geology. The last few weeks in West Cumbria have taught us lessons about engineering. A storm lasting a few hours can cause untold damage. If the option of engineering, over geology is sought out, we can expect nature to bite us harder than it has ever done before.

The SWC view themselves as a ‘legitimate representative of the communities of West Cumbria’, and yet they view opposition groups, such as the Cumbria Trust quite differently. At least Cumbria Trust invite people to join their ranks, instead of making assumptions that the SWC have. They are blinkered, and blind to the views of the rest of the community.

My postman has more contact with the communities than what the SWC claim to represent – he’s more of a legitimate representative, than this group will ever be!

The SWC has controlling individuals at its core, whose reach stretches out into local/national government. They control local politicians, influencing their decision making processes through fear of losing seats, and lucrative allowances. They also take part in behind closed door meetings with council leaders. What are they discussing? Are the rest of the community happy for these unelected individuals to influence policy by lobbying?

As well as controlling local politicians, they fill many seats at Copeland Borough Council, with current, or ex Sellafield employees. They only do this for one thing. That is for total control.

There are many similarities with Copeland, when compared with Falkirk (where there was uproar over alleged union interference with election candidates). Union activities should be distinctly separate from politics. Of course, the Copeland Labour party will tell you that they select candidates, not the unions. But, the local Labour party is run by ex, and current union representatives!

For more than 20 years, Sellafield unions have filled many seats at CBC, and selected our MPs. We all know how these nuclear professionals have performed while sitting in office – they have killed the area, by squandering tens of millions of pounds. So, what makes them think that they can do a better job with the MRWS process? Their record has been abysmal. The sooner non-Sellafield councillors take up office, the better.

Union officials, the Copeland MP, backed by kowtowing council leaders have attempted to influence the MRWS process, to the detriment of those that do not work at Sellafield. The general public are absolutely not represented by the reckless puppet masters, who are pulling the strings of local politics. This interference must stop.

The MRWS process should be managed by scientists, and geologists who know what they are talking about, instead of having amoral bullies hijacking something that we owe future generations to get right.

R. TAYLOR

Address supplied

The Whitehaven News – Letters 23rd January 2014

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