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Widnes Protest On Undercutting

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

GMB Further Protest On Wednesday 21st October Over Pay Rates For Construction Workers Building New Biomass Power Station In Widnes

Workers were shown the equivalent pay rates in euros and it is extremely clear that the Polish workers of Mostostal are not being paid the national agreement rates of pay says GMB.

There was a second protest demonstration by 100 GMB and Unite engineering construction workers demonstrate at 6a.m on Wednesday 21st October at the entrance to a new power plant being built for Stobart Energy in Widnes over pay rates for workers building this plant. This follows the first demonstration on 14th October. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release.

Last November Stobart announced a £110m deal to build one of the biggest biomass plants in the UK at the Widnes 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 “This was the second demonstration to highlight the campaign to gain employment and recognition of our national agreement.

Once again we attempted to speak to the migrant european workers and provided them with leaflets showing the equivalent pay rates in euros. It is extremely clear that the Polish workers of Mostostal are not being paid the national agreement rates of pay.

The news of this exploitation has now spread beyond the locality, and that was shown this morning when the demonstrators turned out in awful weather to show their support.

At present neither of the managing contractors have awarded work to U.K registered companies."

End

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

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB press release dated 14th October 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 new National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) 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.”

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