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GMB Further Cheshire Demo

GMB second Cheshire protest on Wed 27th February over refusal to apply NAECI agreement to nuclear construction site.

There is a lot more depth to NAECI than a mirror image of the pay rates and at present the steel erectors employed on the project are working on less favourable terms says GMB.

GMB, the union for engineering construction, is organizing a second demonstration on 27th Feb outside a construction engineering site in Cheshire in protest at Urenco and Jacob seeking to take the site outside the scope of the national agreement for engineering construction industry (NAECI).

GMB also rebuted the statement made by Jacob/Urenco's statement of the 21st February 2013 on the dispute. See notes to editors for statement.

Since November 2012, both GMB and Unite have had meetings with Jacobs and Urenco to secure agreement that the Tails Management Facility( TMF) construction project be confirmed as category 1 under NAECI terms and conditions.

This TMF project has been planned on the NJC communications for a number of years as a category 1 project. It is now clear that Jacobs and Urenco have no intention of building the project under the NAECI terms and conditions and this is not acceptable and is the issue in dispute.

The details of the second protest are as follows:

From 6.00am Wednesday 27 Feb 2012
Outside Urenco site
At Capenhurst Works
near Capenhurst railway station
Chester
CH1 6ER

For background in November 2012 the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) completed the transfer of it’s Capenhurst site to Urenco subsidiary Capenhurst Nuclear Services (CNS).

CNS took ownership of the NDA portion of the site, combining it with the adjacent Urenco-owned site to create one nuclear licensed site. The transition started in December 2011, when the NDA signed agreements with Urenco.

Activities formerly carried out by NDA at Capenhurst were transferred to CNS. This included decommissioning and storage operations, as well as the processing of government-owned by-product/legacy material from uranium enrichment through Urenco's Tails Management Facility (TMF). This construction project has been planned for a number of years and was always planned to be NAECI category 1 status. The new owners have now gone back on this.

Albie Mc Guigan, GMB regional Officer, said “I want to respond in detail to the Jacob and Urenco's statement of the 21st February 2013 to get all the facts into the public domain.

Jacobs say that they have given all assurances to abide by the industry's agreements. However, that is not our understanding.

NAECI has 4 categories:- Category 4 are engineering workshops; Category 3 are major shutdowns and events; Category 2 are repair and maintenance and Category 1 are new projects. Therefore if it is not Category 1, then what is it?

NAECI is a full set of terms and conditions and not a code of practice to choose the parts you like and ignore other sections. There is a lot more depth to NAECI than a mirror image of the pay rates. At present the steel erectors employed on the project are working on less favourable terms.

The meeting suggested for March was supposedly to introduce the trade unions to the new contractors and not as Jacob and Urenco claim to continue discussing the outstanding issues. Jacob/Urenco were made aware that the site would attract demonstrations once it became clear to our members that NAECI would not be applied in full. These will now gather pace.

The suggested disruption to the local community is incorrect and actually a number of local residents and the police congratulated the demonstrators on their behaviour and attitude.

The trade unions are prepared to meet Jacob/Urenco as soon as possible to resolve the problems and secure the Project under NAECI Category 1."

End

Contact: Albie McGuigan on 0151 727 0077 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

A statement on behalf of Jacobs and Urenco ChemPlants issued on 21 Feb reads:

"The Tails Management Facility (TMF) project has been consulting with local Trade Union Officers from both the Unite Union and the GMB Union on the site arrangements and employment conditions on the TMF project.

"Jacobs and Urenco ChemPlants Ltd have given assurances to abide by all national industry collective agreements which are appropriate to the type of work. Discussions on a number of local site specific matters have taken place with the local trade union officers of both trade unions. Following the most recent meeting on February 4, agreement had been reached to meet again in March when it is anticipated that, based around the previous discussions, the outstanding issues will be resolved amicably.

"We were, therefore, both surprised and disappointed to learn of the joint union decision, which will cause disruption to the construction programme at the TMF site and disturbance to the residents of Capenhurst village. We hope that the unions will reconsider their current course of action and re-engage in constructive discussion."

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