Construction unions fight for correct pay at energy-to-waste plant

07 Mar 2022
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Construction unions GMB and Unite have launched a campaign to ensure that workers employed on a new waste-to-energy plant at Skelton Grange, Leeds are paid the correct rate for the job.

More than 500 construction workers will be employed on the £250 million project, which will eventually provide power for 100,000 homes. The project is being built for Enfinium by principal contractor Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI).

The nature of the construction work means that it should be built under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). HZI has previously built two waste-to-energy plants, at Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, where the workers were employed under the NAECI agreement, but is not applying the NAECI agreement on this project.

The unions are seeking to ensure that Leeds council demands HZI agrees to pay workers in line with the NAECI agreement or the project will not go ahead.

Charlotte Childs, GMB National Officer, said: 

"Our members and the national agreement have served the construction industry well. Union jobs are safer, better paid and well built, it makes sense to adopt the national agreement to get this project built. 

“GMB will hold to account any client or contractor who tries to circumnavigate the hard fought for rights our members have won. HZI needs to get round the table with GMB and Unite to bring this project under the agreement."

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: 

“Unite will never allow the undercutting of pay rates and the undermining of construction agreements.

“When employers ignore construction agreements, exploitation, low rates of pay, excessive hours and poor health and safety are usually not far behind.

“Leeds council has a duty and the power to prevent this.  It must ensure that HZI pays the correct rates of pay on this project.” 


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