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Undercutting At Widnes

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

GMB Protest Demonstration On Wed 14th October Over Pay Rates For Construction Workers Building New Biomass Power Station In Widnes

A Polish contractor has started to assemble the boiler but they are not paying  workers in accordance with the national agreement says GMB

65 GMB engineering construction workers held a protest demonstration at 6a.m on Wednesday 14th October at the entrance to a new power plant being built for Stobart Energy in Widnes over pay rates for workers building this plant.

Last November Stobart announced a £110m deal to build one of the biggest biomass plants in the UK at the Widnesl site. The combined heat and power plant is set to be ready by December 2016.

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), a Danish company, is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. BWSC will also manage the facility under a long-term operation and maintenance contract.

Albi McGuigan, GMB Regional Officer, said “Early indications following dialogue with BWSC were that the plant would get built under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) new registration process for the mechanical scope of work.

However while I have been trying to get NAECI recognized they have slipped a Polish multi discipline engineering contractor in last week who have started to assemble the boiler far in advance of the usual programme time frame.

They are not paying workers in accordance with the national agreement.  GMB has objected to this and the managing contractor BWSC is still claiming they will use NAECI.

The local skilled workforce some of whom are unemployed are outraged at this decision and consider it to be a direct attempt to undercut the national agreement terms and conditions that has served the industry well for many years.

This looks like another case of underpaying and exploiting migrant workers while local skilled workers are ignored.

Local meetings are now being arranged to organise further protests until such time that the project is categorised and NAECI registered contractors are awarded work.”


Contact Albie McGuigan on 07860 593479 or 0151 727 0077 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or GMB press office 07921 289880

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