Unite, the UK’s largest union, has today (Wednesday 8 October) welcomed the final go-ahead given by the European Commission to build Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
The deal means the creation of 500 new apprenticeships and 25,000 job opportunities in the UK over the lifetime of the power station including 5,000 based on the site at any one time – this will be welcomed by the local community and is a massive boost for the construction industry and the supply chain. The agreement with EDF Energy will see Hinkley Point C begin operating in 2023.
Unite national officer Kevin Coyne said: “This is great news. The go-ahead at Hinkley Point will deliver thousands of skilled jobs in the construction, manufacturing and operation of the power station.
“Nuclear power is a key part of a balanced, low carbon energy policy. This fires the starting gun on a nuclear renaissance and will hopefully pave the way for more power stations which will, in turn, generate more skilled jobs.”
Unite along with other construction unions have also recently signed a ground-breaking industrial relations agreement to build the new nuclear power station. The 'Common Framework Agreement' establishes how industrial relations will be managed on the project and guarantees that the signatory unions will be provided with the necessary facilities to ensure workers are treated fairly.
Kevin Coyne added: “This agreement is an important step to combat casualisation as the site will only directly employ workers through Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). For the first time, in such an agreement, there will also be strict rules placed on the recruitment of workers through employment agencies.”
For further information contact Ashraf Choudhury in the Unite Press Office on 020 3371 2061 or 07980 224761.
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.