Hunterston nuclear power station strike - sixth week update

Picket line report from the sixth week of the electricians' dispute at Hunterston.

Submitted by amicus member on October 17, 2006

A worker's report of the first day of our sixth week in our dispute with BK.

Our dispute with BK continued today with no contact from our employers at all. It appears that under no circumstances are they prepared to reinstate our 50p/hr and ultimately resolve this dispute.

We remain as determined as ever in the pursuit of our goal. We will not be broken and if we have to we will continue our action beyond the 12-week limit and risk losing our employment then we will do so.

Today the police were concerned with the traffic build-up on the main road which was affecting the general public as well as the Hunterston employees of BE and BNG. We must stress that we are not picketing on the public highway through choice: BE threatened us with an Interim Interdict to remove us from their land and we had no choice but to comply. Previous to this our picket line was 2 miles down the access road. We had AMICUS members watching the roundabout at the public road to ensure that there was no disruption, and when there was we waved the traffic through our picket to alleviate this. If we were not forced to move these tactics would still be employed and there would be no traffic build up on the public road. BE employees were also told by their management that by using the right hand lane approaching the roundabout they would be able to access Hunterston without being affected by our picket. They were also told that we had agreed to this. This is not true and typical of the misinformation conveyed by their management team. If these employees kept to the correct lane then the disruption to the public would be greatly reduced, although not as much as if we were to return to our original picket line.

We have always had good relations with the police and today acted on our promise to stop picketing if there were any public safety issues, when informed that there was an ambulance caught up in the traffic we withdrew our picket until it was allowed to pass. Again this would have been unnecessary if we were not forced to move our original picket line. We hope that anyone caught up in our actions understand the unfortunate predicament we have found ourselves in.

There is an SJIB board meeting taking place tomorrow and our dispute will be top of the agenda. We will convey any findings of this meeting when we get them.