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Union threatens legal action over power plant lay-offs

Unite threatens legal action over power plant lay-offs

08 December 2016

Unite the union has threatened to take legal action after staff working on Glasgow’s new waste power plant were locked out of the the site and paid off with just a week’s notice. 

Glasgow City Council contracted with Viridor to build the Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre in Polmadie. Viridor then sub-contracted some of the construction work to another company Interserve.

But last month, Viridor announced that it was going to take Interserve off the contract – and now Interserve has told workers that they are going to be let go. Viridor has still not announced who their new preferred contractor will be.

Unite says that the workers are protected by Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE) – and any attempt to lay them off will be grounds for possible legal action and compensation claims. 

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Viridor is getting paid out of public money.  It is their inaction that has put our members in this situation. That is completely unacceptable.

“As far as we’re concerned, our members are protected by TUPE regulations. Any employer trying to breach our members’ rights will leave themselves open to possible legal action.

“We urge Viridor to urgently act to sort this situation out and we are calling on Glasgow City Council to help. We are consulting with our lawyers and will do everything in our power to ensure that our members on this publicly-funded project are treated with dignity and respect – and that their legal rights are respected. 

“We won’t accept our members being left with this uncertainty – especially at this time of year.”

Unite understands that around 100 scaffolders have been told by Interserve that they will be kept on for 20 days. Around 60 other workers involved in thermal insulation and mechanical and electrical work have been locked off the site and given a week’s notice. 

ENDS

Notes to editors 

  • For further information contactUnite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org