Report on Picket Solidarity with Construction workers

Unite the Union and our construction members today on picket lines at Ickles Rotherham at the building of the new Bio Mass Power plant that are also being built across rest of the UK.

Massive turnout by Unite, GMB and UCATT Members incensed at how being treated and kept off jobs.

Established UK construction companies are being undercut by rogue firms who are not upholding the established construction industry agreements. They are not honouring pay rates and using/exploiting migrant labour by £10+ per hour.

Again it shows how some are using the EU as an exclusive capitalist/Bosses Club to exploit workers and undercut payrates.

Skilled workers and their families are being denied paid work. It’s a disgrace.

We fully support our construction workers in their fight for fairness, dignity and a decent living.

Ged Dempsey


Background information:

Engineering construction workers are protesting at a site in Rotherham today over “unscrupulous” construction companies they say are exploiting workers.

GMB and Unite members in engineering construction are holding three separate protest demonstrations in Wales, Scotland and Yorkshire against undercutting of workers on three energy from waste power station construction sites.

Construction began last year on the £150m biomass-fired power plant project at Templeborough where Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S, the Danish subsidiary of the giant US Babcock & Wilcox Company, will design, manufacture and operate the plant, with Interserve responsible for its construction.

The GMB Union claims that skilled workers on the site are being paid about £7 per hour and that the subsidiary has declined to follow National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) which covers infrastructure like power stations, oil refineries and transport installations. Under that agreement the rate for skilled workers is £16.64 per hour.

Under the EU Posted Workers Directive contractors employing labour from third countries are obliged to follow sector agreements like the NAECI agreement but increasingly employers are ignoring this legal requirement.

Bob McNeill, GMB Regional organiser, said: “GMB members have negotiated and honoured the Terms and Conditions of our National Agreement (NAECI) for decades and I support our members’ campaign for the National Agreement to be fully implemented on the Rotherham site.

“Interserve and Babcock Wilcox VØlund are undermining our agreement by exploiting non UK workers and paying inferior terms and conditions. This is nothing other than social dumping.”

Phil Whitehurst, GMB national officer for engineering construction, added: “GMB members in the Engineering Construction Sector are being debarred from employment on energy from waste (EfW) facilities being built around the UK.

“Unscrupulous construction companies using spurious umbrella companies exploit non UK workers at rates of pay as low as £7 per hour rather than paying £16.64 per hour which is the applicable rate through direct employment and utilising UK collective agreements.”

GMB and Unite intend to launch a major campaign to raise the profile of the issues.

Unite and UCATT Unions area also taking part in the protest and are also calling on the contractors to guarantee that workers on the projects will be employed directly to stop workers being exploited by bogus self-employment schemes run by sub-contractors, employment agencies and “umbrella” payment companies. Babcock & Wilcox Vølund awarded the Croatian company Ðuro Ðavokic the contract to manufacture and install the main boilers for all three energy plants.

7 thoughts on “Report on Picket Solidarity with Construction workers

  1. According to the Labour Party and the unions we need to be in EUROPE to safe guard workers rights. Which workers and whose rights? This puts the lie to these sham reasons for staying in, also they tell us we will lose jobs, it would seem to me we already have. The only reason the Tories want to stay in is so that big business, and foreign big business at that, can exploit migrant workers and push down wages. The Labour Party and the Unions have allowed this to happen, our railways, our power and our water owned by European companies, and our construction industry too. Time to leave.
    Dave Smith


  2. So Cllrs expect ordinary working members to support them. whilst they sack our members or fail to support working people in struggle or dispute.

    Lets play spot the cllr on a picket line


  3. As I told them at the February council meeting when they were putting forward a resolution condemning the Torys anti trade union law, you’re hypocrites and just crying crocodile tears. Obviously I was right because if they believed in what they were saying they would have been supporting the picket. Mind you if they had done they would have been trapped into supporting their own workers that they are sacking.
    Dave Smith


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