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North Wales workers betrayed by councils says unions

North Wales workers ‘betrayed’ by councils say unions

16 November 2017

Unite and the GMB have accused a conglomerate of North Wales councils of ‘betraying’ the local workforce.
 
The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership [1] consists of five local authorities responsible for building a new £800million waste facility in Parc Adfer Deeside.
 
The partnership has contracted French company CNIM to undertake the project.
CNIM, has a history of poor relationships with trade unions in the UK, and has refused to allow unions access to the site.

CNIM and its supply chain has failed to engage local workers on the project and some of the work is expected to be given to overseas contractors. The company is also refusing to abide by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), which means that the workers employed on the site are not receiving the correct pay and conditions for the work they are conducting.

If workers are brought in from overseas then legally the company only has to pay the national minimum wage which is a 63.5 per cent cut in wages compared to the NAECI agreement.

The unions have written to the local authorities involved in the project about their concerns but have not received a response.

The two unions will now be stepping up the pressure on CNIM and the local councils to ensure that workers are paid the appropriate rates for the work undertaken and also skilled local workers are fully given opportunities to work on the project.

Unite national officer for construction Bernard McAulay said: “Our joint talks with CNIM failed to achieve a way forward but we are not going to stand idly by and allow workers to be mistreated and exploited.
 
“Trade unions feel the North Wales councils have betrayed the local community - and spend more time on box-ticking exercises rather than promoting job opportunities in the surrounding communities.

“It is essential that local people realise what is being done in their name and clearly say that what is happening on Deeside is not acceptable. It is totally immoral that these practices are being conducted on a public sector contract.

“There has already been local protests about the way this project is being conducted and without an agreement similar disruptive activity could re-occur.”

GMB National Officer for Construction Phil Whitehurst,, said: “From past experience, CNIM do not seem to want to engage with trade unions.
 
“We are seen as a necessary evil who they won’t embrace in a harmonious partnership.
 
“The Park Adfor Deeside area workforce has been sadly let down by a union-hating company and an uncaring, incompetent local authority conglomerate who are just interested in saving money and not the wider local economy.”
 
ENDS

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Notes for Editors:

[1] The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project is a partnership of five authorities: Flintshire County Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Gwynedd County Council, Conwy County Borough Council, Denbighshire County Council.