Unscrupulous construction companies are exploiting non UK workers at rates of pay as low as £7 per hour rather than paying £16.64 per hour under the relevant UK collective agreements says GMB.
Following successful protests across the UK on 1st March 2016, GMB will hold further protests on Thursday 7th April 2016 against the undercutting of workers at three energy-from-waste construction sites.
GMB members will rally against a lack of job opportunities for local workers and the exploitation of non UK workers at energy from waste construction sites run by construction firms Interserve and Babcock & Wilcox Volund (BWV).
Skilled workers on these sites are being paid about £7 per hour. BWV has refused to follow the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) which covers infrastructure like power stations, oil refineries and transport installations. Under that agreement the rate for skilled workers is £16.64 per hour.
The protests will be held at 6.30am and will continue all day at the addresses as follows:
Margam site, off Margam road Heol Cae'r Bont, SA13 2NR
Dunbar landfill, Oxwellmains, Dunbar, EH42 1SW
Templeborough site, Firth Rixon site Sheffield Road Rotherham S60 1DP
Phil Whitehurst, GMB national officer for engineering construction, said "GMB members in the Engineering Construction Sector are being debarred from employment on energy from waste (EfW) facilities being built around the UK.
Unscrupulous construction companies using spurious umbrella companies exploit non UK workers at rates of pay as low as £7 per hour rather than paying £16.64 per hour which is the applicable rate through direct employment and utilising UK collective agreements.
This undercutting effectively disadvantages UK construction workers and subsequently GMB members.
GMB and Unite intend to launch a major campaign to get politicians in the UK and the European Union to implement the provisions of social Europe which were intended to go hand in hand with the free movement of labour across the European Union. As things stand we have a total one way street where undercutting of pay is happening on an industrial scale right across the UK. This cannot be allowed to continue."
Gary Cook, GMB Officer for Engineering workers in Scotland, said. "How can the Government turn a blind eye to the exploitation of these workers who will be paid as little as £6.98, 63% below the recognised national agreement rates for engineering and construction workers? What chance does local skilled labour have at these exploitative rates?
This is yet another glaring example of a missed opportunity to protect what little construction work Scotland has. The government should be sending a message out loud and clear: Scotland is a no go area for exploitation and social dumping and it will not be tolerated at the cost to our skilled workers and young people desperate to get a craft apprenticeship."
Bob McNeill, GMB Regional organiser, said "GMB members have negotiated and honoured the Terms and Conditions of our National Agreement (NAECI) for decades and I support our members’ campaign for the National Agreement to be fully implemented on the Rotherham site.
Interserve and Babcock Wilcox VØlund are undermining our agreement by exploiting non UK workers and paying inferior terms and conditions. This is nothing other than social dumping"
A member of the newly formed Energy Waste Activist Committee said "We are protesting again as Interserve and BWV are still not paying the industry rates and not adhering to our National Agreements . These protests are part of a broader campaign to highlight the exploitation and social dumping that is taking place on Interserve and BWV sites. And the lack of local job opportunities We will not stop our campaign until this injustice is put right and Interserve and BWV Pay the rate "
Contact: Bob McNeil 07961 761 806 or Phil Whitehurst on 07968 338810 or Gary Cook on 07712677594 or GMB press office on 07970 863 411 or 07739 182 691