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Scottish sparks threaten nuclear strikes

ELECTRICIANS working at a nuclear power plant in Scotland are promising more strikes in a dispute over pay.

The 40 Balfour Kilpatrick sparks manned picket lines at the Hunterston complex, near West Kilbride on the Ayrshire coast, for two days this week.

The official strike is the first of a series of planned walkouts, with the sparks threatening to down tools every Tuesday and Wednesday until the bust-up is resolved.

Amicus regional officer Rab Sherry said: 'You don't get too many official strikes in construction so that shows the strength of feeling here.'

The sparks are angry that a 50p an hour enhancement payment has been scrapped by the Scottish Electrical Contractors Association.

Mr Sherry added: 'This agreement at Hunterston goes back to the 1970s and ref lects the skills needed to work on nuclear jobs. We would like to see the client take more of a role in sorting this out.'

Hunterston A is being decommissioned, while its sister plant - Hunterston B - is currently shutdown. They are operated by British Nuclear Group and British Energy respectively.

The 50p enhancement was scrapped last year and Balfour Kilpatrick said it was only implementing the new rules. A spokeswoman said: 'Balfour Kilpatrick is applying nationally agreed rules at Hunterston.'