About 50 construction workers will stage a further protest tomorrow (Wednesday 20 October) outside Stobart Energy site in Widnes, Merseyside over pay and attempts to undercut the national agreement for the construction industry.
The National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) has been in existence for many years and sets terms and conditions for constructions workers, as well as employee welfare, and health and safety on construction projects.
Stobart Energy is building a biomass combined heat and power plant in Widnes – which is being project managed by BWSC, the Scandinavian main contractor. In early October, the company introduced Standard Kessell, which in turn awarded work to Mostostal, a Polish multi-discipline engineering contractor.
Unite, the country’s largest union, representing construction workers fears BWSC is deliberately trying to undermine the NAECI agreement to drive down wages and exploit labour. This means workers on the site may not be paid the proper nationally agreed rate for the job.
Angry workers will be outside Stobart Energy Site, Mersey Gateway, West Bank Dock Estate, Widnes, WA8 0PE from 06.00 tomorrow (Wednesday 21 October).
Unite is calling for urgent meetings with Stobart Energy to ensure the national agreement is respected and that all workers are treated fairly.
Unite regional officer Mike Gaskell said: “This protest is about unscrupulous employers trying to rip up our hard-won NAECI agreement which will mean deskilling jobs and undercutting pay.
“Our members want to send a clear message to all employers that they are determined to fight this to defend the NAECI. Unite is demanding that all workers, including those on site from overseas, are paid the same rate. We want fairness to prevail.
“We call on the Stobart Energy and BWSC management to engage with us in meaningful and constructive talks, and adhere to the tried and tested national agreement. If the management does not enter into negotiations in a positive way more such protests will take place throughout the autumn.”
Workers held a successful protest against Stobart Energy last week (Wednesday 14 October) outside the Widnes site.
For further information please contact: Unite regional officer Mike Gaskell on 07768 693 950 and/or Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.