A Sellafield worker’s A-Z of industrial action

UNITED TOGETHER: Man-mountain of the people Julius Burgertitts

As Sellafield workers look set to strike for the 43rd time this year on September 27th, union man and all-round steg of the people Julius Burgertitts presents a handy A-Z guide on how spend your day of industrial action – aimed at first-time strikers and veteran shirkers alike.

 

A is for Ale

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be thirsty work. Luckily there are a number of alehouses and taverns in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe an ale or two.”

 

B is for Beer

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be thirsty work. Luckily there are a number of alehouses and taverns in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe a beer or two.”

 

C is for Carling

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be thirsty work. Luckily there are a number of alehouses and taverns in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe an ice-cold Carling or two.”

 

D is for Danger

“The nuclear industry is fraught with dangers – but none moreso than the danger a pay-rise of just 1.5% poses. If the average button pusher earns £70,000 per annum, a pay-rise of just one-and-a-half percent means workers will only be able to afford an extra fortnight in Majorca this year, as opposed to the all-expenses paid trip to Vegas most of us have promised ‘er indoors.”

 

E is for Eating

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be difficult on an empty stomach. Luckily there are a number of takeaways and chippies in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe a nice kebab, pizza or fish supper or three.”

 

F is for Flack

“Nobody likes a scab – luckily, our comrades are on-hand to dish out some well-deserved flack to anybody breaking the strike – basically, it’s much more fun when everybody’s down the pub instead of at work.”

 

G is for Grolsch

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be thirsty work. Luckily there are a number of alehouses and taverns in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe an ice-cold Grolsch or two.”

 

H is for Hazardous Materials

“Research chemicals knocked up in a Chinaman’s shed often pass as acceptable narcotics these days. As a union man I don’t encourage the use of Plant Food or dodgy E’s in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, but accept that many of the younger lads may imbibe. If you do so, remember that we’re only on strike for a day, so don’t be turning up the following day with a head like a week in a bad balloon.”

 

I is for Indian Cuisine

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be difficult on an empty stomach. Luckily there are a number of high-class Indian restaurants in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can enjoy a vindaloo or two – however, we advise comrades to steer clear of any light-up dancefloors if this is the case.

 

J is for Jargon

“On site, nuclear workers are faced with plenty of jargon on a day-to-day basis. Things like “carbon rod”, “extinction-level event” and “canteen”. Today’s not about jargon; it’s about showing the fat-cats who is boss. And who can drink pints.”

 

K is for K-Hole

Horse tranquilisers procured from a mate-of-a-mate who’s a mate-of-a-vet often pass as acceptable narcotics these days. As a union man I don’t encourage the use of dissociative drugs that make you feel like you’re living in an episode of Morph, but I accept that many of the younger lads may imbibe. If you do so, remember that we’re only on strike for a day, so don’t be turning up the following day in a K-Hole.

 

L is for Laziness

“As professionals on a nuclear site, there’s every excuse for laziness – but strike days are different. Those who aren’t on their second pint down the Batcave by 10am are letting their comrades down, and need to question their commitment to the cause.”

 

M is for Money

“In a post-Cold War climate, the people of West Cumbria agreed to become the nuclear armpit of the country in exchange for the odd three-headed boy and wheelbarrows full of cold, hard cash. By striking, we’re in a position to command more money to enjoy more Audis and semi-detached new-builds.”

 

N is for Nuclear

“At the end of the day, this industry wouldn’t exist without us. Neither would most of the surrounding area, and that’s why we’re striking – to show ‘em how important we are. And to drink pints.”

 

O is for Out-Out

“While striking down the pub is an excellent way for comrades to bond, it’s often the case that ten minutes of workplace discussion over a pint turns into ten hours on the dancefloor in Joe Bananas. If you must drink for such extended periods, be responsible. Alternate between Jager Bombs and something softer, like Apple Sourz.”

 

P is for Police

“Getting to work the day after a strike can be a daunting experience – particularly if you’re over the limit. Luckily, at Sellafield we’ve got our very own radioactive police force and most of them are your marras, so you should be alright, even if you knacker up and inadvertently pull out on that roundabout that has different rules to every other one in the country.”

 

Q is for Quark

“Quarks are miniscule particles that make up protons and neurons, and understanding them is key to understanding radioactive decay. However, strike day is not about quarks, it’s about worker’s rights. And pints.”

 

R is for Radiation

“As nuclear workers, we are routinely exposed to radiation on a daily basis. Armchair research suggests that spending a day in the pub instead of shifting radioactive sludge around could have health benefits – provided you don’t end up with alcohol poisoning.”

 

S is for Stella Artois

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be thirsty work. Luckily there are a number of alehouses and taverns in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe an ice-cold Stella or two.”

 

T is for Tuborg

“Discussing ways to improve workers’ conditions can be thirsty work. Luckily there are a number of alehouses and taverns in the local vicinity whereby our comrades can imbibe an ice-cold Tuborg or two.”

 

U is for Uranium

Uranium has the potential to cause devastating effects to the body, and its effects can only be combatted by owning three houses on the Highlands. By spending the day down the pub, we’re showing the fat-cats the importance of paying us uranium-handlers enough to buy lots of houses.

 

V is for Van Dyke

If, on strike day, you feel like having an extended lie-in instead of joining your comrades in solidarity down at Anchor Vaults, you could always stay in bed and watch re-runs of Diagnosis Murder starring Dick Van Dyke.

 

W is for Water

After a full day of striking, it is important to rehydrate – just remember not to drink tap water, as it is sourced from boreholes contaminated with radioactive sludge.

 

X is for Xylitol

Xylitol is an ingredient found in most mint-flavoured chewing gums. Before returning to work after striking, it is important to chew chewing gum to remove the stench of pints, fags and kebab from your system.

 

Y is for Yellow Jacket

“During strike action, there’s usually one person pictured wearing a luminous yellow jacket on the picket line. However, this person is usually a wanker. By the time the press turn up to take photo of the strike in progress, most of the workforce are already down the pub on their fourth pint. If you are the flag-waving striking employee with his mug in the paper, this unfortunately means you are a wanker.”

 

Z is for zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

After a hard-day striking, each of us has deserved the right to a well-earned snooze. You may still feel the effects of a hard days’ strike well-into your shift the following day – but don’t be afraid to exercise your right to sleep; particularly if you’re on night shift.

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