GMB Call On Cleveland Police And Crime Commissioner To Answer Questions On Police Targeting Union Members On Redcar Protest
We need to know who instigated this witch hunt, why were unemployed construction workers targeted for questioning, how the police got their names and private mobile telephone numbers and visited them at home addresses says GMB.
GMB is calling on Barry Coppinger, the elected Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner to examine why union members were contacted on their mobile phones on Friday 20th February 2015 by Police Sergeant Brown and DS Edgar from Cleveland police and why police intelligence officers came to their homes on Sunday 22nd February 2015 asking about a union protest that was taking place at Wilton on Monday 23rd February 2015. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release on the protest.
Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer, said “The Police and Crime Commissioner needs to ask the police to answer some basic questions on this activity by the Cleveland Police on this protest over discrimination by SITA SembCorp against Teesside workers.
We need to know who instigated this witch hunt, why were unemployed construction workers targeted for questioning, how the police got their names and private mobile telephone numbers and home address. We need to know why were they, rather than the union, linked to the planning, or knowledge of this peaceful protest outside the Wilton 11 project.
Above all we need to know why Cleveland Police devote resources to targeting peaceful trade union protest rather than fighting criminal activity in the area.
GMB, with a long history of peaceful protest and currently taking cases in the High Court for damages for construction workers blacklisted with police collusion, has little tolerance for this police activity targeted at individual members. We need answers from Barry Coppinger.”
Contact: Michael Blench 07870 176 748 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or GMB 0191 514 2634 or GMB press office 07921 289880
Notes to editors
Copy of GMB press release dated 23rd February 2015.
GMB PROTEST OVER DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LOCAL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS FOR JOBS ON NEW TEESSIDE SITA ENERGY FROM WASTE POWER STATION
SITA is discriminating against local workers giving them no chance to get up to three quarters of the 400 jobs on the site at the construction phase of the job says GMB
On Monday 23rd February GMB and Unite members protested over the discrimination against the employment of local workers on the construction of a new purpose-built energy-from-waste facility at Wilton, Redcar for SITA for Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority. See notes to editors for copy of SITA press release of April 2013.
Michael Blench, GMB Regional officer said "SITA is not playing fair by the Teesside workforce. SITA has discriminated against them by giving them no chance to get up to three quarters of the 400 jobs on the site at the construction phase of the job.
Teesside has the highest unemployment rate in the country, and the skilled local unemployed labour force had high expectations of employment on the SITA project, from the very start of this project. SITA by their own admittance have made it clear that local labour was not a consideration when tenders for contacts on the project were awarded, so essentially SITA are only interest in profit at the cost of Local Labour. Their recent local Jobs fair is just a wallpaper over the cracks exercise, with little chance of anyone gaining direct employment on the project, paying PAYE and class one National insurance, on the wage structures of the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry. If SITA and its subcontractors say otherwise, then I challenge them to put their money where their mouth is.
Trade Unions have been denied access to the site by Sita SembCorp. Local construction activists are not fooled by management propaganda and empty promises. They have now had enough of these rogue companies overlooking them for work.
These workers have formed the Teesside Construction Committee to target such projects in the area which exclude them from employment and pay inferior rates of pay to the normal National Collective Agreement rates for such work. These companies instead promote and support the use of Umbrella tax avoidance companies to administer their payroll which relinquishes them from any direct employment of their workforce. This inevitably leads to the exploitation of non UK Posted workers who are brought in to undercut local and UK workers, which is truly a race to the bottom. The newly formed Teesside Construction Committee has pledged to take action against this. "
Notes to editors
Copy of press release from SITA dated 19 Apr 2013
SITA UK selected as preferred bidder for 30-year £1.18 billion / €1.4 billion resource recovery contract with Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority>
SITA UK selected as preferred bidder for 30-year £1.18 billion / €1.4 billion resource recovery contract with Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
SITA SEMBCORP UK, a consortium led by SITA UK, a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, has been selected as preferred bidder for a resource recovery contract worth £1.18 billion / €1.4 billion* over 30 years with the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority. The other consortium members are Sembcorp Utilities UK and I-Environment, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Itochu Corporation.
The contract is to manage over 430,000 tonnes of residual household waste each year from Merseyside and Halton. It includes the design, build, finance and operation of two key facilities which both have planning permission in place: a rail loading waste transfer station in Merseyside and a new purpose-built energy-from-waste facility in Teesside. Total capital investment for the two facilities will be around £250 million / €295 million. Both key facilities are expected to be operational by 2016. In total, 75 permanent new jobs will be created by the contract with hundreds more temporary jobs during the construction of the two new facilities.
The rail loading waste transfer station will be developed at an existing rail-linked warehouse in Knowsley Industrial Estate. From here, waste will be transported by rail to the new 450,000 tonnes per year energy-from-waste facility, which will be developed on a rail linked site at Wilton International – a 2,000 acre industrial estate managed by Sembcorp Utilities UK near Redcar on Teesside.
The new energy-from-waste facility will generate electricity for the equivalent of 63,000 homes and has the potential to provide steam directly to adjacent business customers, which would further improve its efficiency. In total, over 90 per cent of the contract waste managed by the SITA Sembcorp UK consortium will be diverted from landfill and used to produce energy.
David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Office of SITA UK said: "We are delighted to be selected as preferred bidder for this major contract in Merseyside. This is great news for Merseyside, for the environment and for new jobs. The two new facilities that we will develop will enable all of Merseyside’s household waste to be put to good use. We will create over 70 new full time jobs in Merseyside and Teeside and several hundred more during the construction of our new resource recovery facilities."
Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, said: “We are delighted that the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority has selected the SITA Sembcorp UK consortium as preferred bidder for this important contract. SITA UK has a strong record of achieving financial close quickly and delivering the new waste management infrastructure that is needed by local authorities in the UK. This new contract fits well with SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT’s policy to develop new waste recovery facilities and fits with the UK’s government aspiration to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.”
Cllr Joe DeAsha, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority said: “The appointment of SITA Sembcorp UK as our Preferred Bidder marks the beginning of an important chapter in the way Merseyside and Halton deals with its resources. I believe that the solution we have chosen is the best for the environment - saving natural resources, generating green electricity and providing value for money for taxpayers.”
Carl Beer, Chief Executive of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority said: “We are extremely pleased to have progressed to this stage. I’m confident that we can now work towards putting our plans in place and concentrate on providing future generations in Merseyside and Halton with an effective and sustainable waste solution.”
SITA UK has developed a number of PPP (Public Private Partnership) contracts across the UK including: Surrey, South Gloucestershire, Kirklees, Cornwall, Northumberland, Aberdeen, the Isle of Man and Teesside. In September 2010, SITA UK signed a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contract with Suffolk County Council worth €1.2 billion over 25 years. In April 2011, SITA UK signed a PFI contract with the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership worth over €850 million (€1.3 billion including third party waste and sale of electricity). And in April 2013, SITA UK and Cornwall Council agreed a PFI contract variation worth €1.3 billion of revenue. In the waste sector, this type of partnership was developed to allow British local authorities to develop alternative waste management facilities to landfill.
*Total contract value is in excess of €2 billion with the addition of revenues from the management of third party waste and sale of electricity.
SITA UK, a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, is a recycling and resource management company, generating environmental value, social value and economic value from our nation’s waste. The company delivers environmentally responsible and increasingly innovative solutions for the public, local government, industry and commerce, enabling our customers to reduce their impact on the environment. SITA UK serves over 12 million people and handles more than eight million tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial waste through a network of recycling, composting, energy-from-waste and landfill facilities. SITA UK employs over 6,000 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £700 million.
Natural resources are not infinite. Each day, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT (Paris: SEV, Brussels: SEVB) and its subsidiaries deal with the challenge of protecting resources by providing innovative solutions to industry and to millions of people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT supplies drinking water to 96.6 million people, provides wastewater treatment services for 66.3 million people and collects the waste produced by 50 million people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has 79,550 employees and, with its presence on five continents, is a world leader exclusively dedicated to water and waste management services. In 2012, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, a subsidiary in which GDF SUEZ has a 35.7% interest, generated revenues of EUR 15.1 billion.
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (formerly Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority) is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside’s residents. www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.
MRWA is a key partner in the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership which was established in 2005. All members of the MHWP have responsibilities for tackling the effective delivery of sustainable municipal waste management in Merseyside. www.recycleformerseysideandhalton.com.
Sembcorp Utilities UK is a leading industrial energy, water and services provider based at the Wilton International site near Redcar in North east England. The company, part of the Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries Group, became the pioneer of biomass power production in the UK in 2007 when the 35MW Sembcorp Biomass Power Station (also known as Wilton 10) came on line. The plant uses around 300,000 tonnes of sustainably sourced wood a year as its fuel.
Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, water and marine group operating across six continents worldwide. With facilities with over 5,600MWs of gross power capacity and over seven million cubic metres of water per day in operation and under development, Sembcorp is a trusted provider of essential energy and water solutions to both industrial and municipal customers. It is also a world leader in marine and offshore engineering as well as an established brand name in urban development. The Group has total assets of over S$12 billion and employs over 9,000 employees worldwide. Listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, it is a component stock of the Straits Times Index, several MSCI and FTSE indices as well as the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index.