Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Power station building workers to be balloted for strikes

Thousands of engineering construction workers will be balloted for strikes following a continuing feud over pay and the recruitment of staff.
The GMB and Unite unions have announced they will be speaking with members at seven power stations and other sites, including the RWE power station in Staythorpe, in the coming weeks and workers will vote on whether to mount a campaign of industrial action.
The ballot follows months of unrest and unofficial action, including strikes at the Lindsey oil terminal in North Lincolnshire over claims that local workers were being denied employment opportunities.
The protests by construction workers at the Lindsey project sparked wildcat action up and down the country.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “The anger and frustration felt by both workers and bona fide employers in the engineering construction industry at the misuse and exploitation of migrant labour has now been boiling over for many months as witnessed on several sites across the country.
“The objective of this dispute is to eliminate discrimination, unfair treatment and exploitation in this industry of workers wherever they come from. A robust and transparent auditing process is the only way of forcing these employers to break from their bad habits. This is not a skills issue, this is not a foreign worker issue, it is about fairness and adhering to agreed standards.”
The union’s national officer Phil Davies said employers had the chance to curb any action, with talks being arranged for next month.

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