Today’s (Thursday 28 July) decision by the EDF board of directors to approve the financial go-ahead for Hinkley Point C has been hailed as ‘historic’ by Unite, the country’s largest union.
With workers ‘shovel ready’ Unite urged the British government to sign the relevant contracts so that work could start as soon as possible and ensure the nation’s energy needs are met.
Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: “This long-awaited decision by EDF is historic and the British government must now as a matter of urgency sign the relevant contracts so work can get started as soon as possible.
"Any further delay or back sliding would hold back the economic boost and the accompanying creation of thousands of skilled jobs that this major infrastructure project will bring.
“Our members are shovel ready to start work on the country’s first nuclear power station for a generation and British companies are at the ready to build and supply this £18 billion project.
“This is the first big litmus test, following last month’s EU referendum. Theresa May’s new government must now give the final go-ahead and show that it has the appetite for the big infrastructure projects that the UK so desperately needs for its future economic prosperity.
“Unite will be pressing the UK government to give Hinkley Point C the final green light and that it ensures the project makes maximum use of British-made materials, such as steel, so that the benefits flow into the blood stream of the wider UK economy.”
Unite and the other unions involved regard the go-ahead for the £18 billion project, which will generate seven per cent of UK electricity demand, as vital in terms of providing thousands of jobs and ‘keeping the lights on’ in the years ahead. Because of delays, the start date for electricity generation has been put back to 2025.
Unite has already negotiated agreements covering the future Hinkley Point C workforce, which includes:
jobs based on direct employment
a radical new approach to recruitment to deliver a diverse workforce to attract those who have historically not been well-represented in engineering and construction, notably women; and
high-quality terms and conditions of employment for union members.
For more information please contact Unite head of media Alex Flynn on 07967 665869 and/or senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940.
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.