Unions Unite and GMB announced today (Monday 4 December) that they are stepping up their campaign to end the exploitation of construction workers on a major project in north Wales.
Union members are angry that French company CNIM, the main contractor on the £800 million waste to energy facility, being built at Parc Adfer Deeside is refusing to comply with relevant industrial agreement resulting in workers being left massively out of pocket.
The two unions have jointly agreed to increase their campaign with workers from across the UK planning to demonstrate at the site in the New Year.
CNIM has declined to allow unions access to the site and has refused to ensure that workers are paid via the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) on their project. Workers on the project could be paid rates 63.5 per cent below NAECI rates.
Union members are being encouraged to write to their MP and members of the Welsh Assembly to highlight CNIM’s exploitative practices.
The project is being undertaken by the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership which comprises five Welsh councils (Flintshire, Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy and Denbighshire).
The unions are highly disappointed that Colin Everett the chief executive of Flintshire County Council who leads on the Treatment Partnership has failed to step in and ensure that exploitative practices are ended, the correct rates are paid and unions are given access to the site.
The unions are seeking last ditch talks with CNIM, prior to Christmas, to end the exploitation.
Unite national officer for construction Bernard McAulay said: “We will not stand idly by and allow construction workers to be exploited.
“It is reprehensible that the client, which comprises five local councils is prepared to allow workers to be exploited on their project.
“If the councils and CNIM don’t take action then we are putting them on notice that concerned workers will be stepping up their protests early next year.”
GMB National Officer Phil Whitehurst said: "CNIM and the Flintshire conglomerate of local authorities are hiding behind minimum standard legislation in the Parc Adfer construction process.
"This is not only a betrayal of the highly skilled local and national labour pool - it ensures that the lowest bidder wins the contract at the tendering stage, no matter what their past record is with regards to safety and terms and conditions offered to the prospective workforce.
"This ultimately encourages spurious employment methods such as zero hours contracts, under the guise of bogus self-employment, and agency labour.
“This race to the bottom is unacceptable and CNIM and its paymasters have firmly got the cross hairs of civil unrest firmly trained on them."
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
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.