Unite Alstom 'local workers' dispute

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Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Jan 19 2009 14:40
Unite Alstom 'local workers' dispute


Unite's power station protest: we'll keep on knocking until you let us in!

16 Jan 2009

Date: Monday, 19th January 2009
Address: Staythorpe power station, Staythorpe Road, Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5PS
Time: 6.00am - 11.00am

Hundreds of skilled but unemployed construction workers, being refused work at the Staythorpe power station, will begin sustained demonstrations outside the site to call on Alstom to let them in.

Unite, the union organising the demonstrations, has warned that the protests will spread to other power stations under construction in the UK. Many employers in the energy sector are refusing to consider local labour despite the credit crunch, and instead, use non-UK labour to carry out the work.

Alstom has been contracted by RWE to build a gas fired power station near Newark. Two companies, Montpressa and FMM, have been subcontracted to carry out construction work on the site. These two non-UK contracting companies say they have no intention of employing any local labour to undertake the work. Unite has branded the decision a national scandal.

Unite estimates that 600 jobs will be needed to build the power station's turbine and boiler (Montpressa will fit the turbine and FMM will fit the boiler) and another 250 to build the pipe connecting the two. None of these jobs will go to UK workers.

FMM told union officials that because they had no direct employees themselves, they would supply their workers directly from abroad and would not be giving any consideration to local construction workers with years of experience of building power stations throughout the Trent Valley.

Unite joint general secretary, Derek Simpson, said: "Our message to Alstom is that we will keep on knocking until you let us in! Staythorpe is a national scandal. We are seeing thousands of jobs being lost daily but at Staythorpe there is skilled, well-paid work available. It's a disgrace that local workers with years of experience are being locked out of the job.

"Alstom has the power to insist that the sub-contractors end this scandalous situation. UK workers must be given a fair chance to get a cut of the action to build a new generation of UK power stations; they are not asking for special favours they are demanding fair play.

"The UK needs to upgrade and build new power stations and there are huge opportunities to create thousands of well paid and highly skilled jobs. It will be a disgrace if UK workers are shut out from building their own power stations. Unite will not stand by and allow our members to languish on the dole while there is work in the UK."

The government has invested billions of pounds into the economy to support jobs during this recession. This strategy depends on employers playing their part. Apart from the Olympics, engineering construction is the only sector of the construction industry with a visible workload going forward. Staythorpe, although the most prominent, is not the only site where employers are refusing to employ local workers.

Alstom has been contracted by Eon to build a gas-fired power station near Grain in Kent. Unite sought assurances that Alstom would provide a level playing field for UK workers during the process for sub-contracting. The union pressed Alstom to include a clause in the tendering process - that any sub contractor would endeavour to use UK or local labour. Alstom refused and then appointed a non-UK construction company, Remak, to build the boiler. The union has been informed that Remak will not use any UK labour.


Is it me, or is this doing everything except actually saying 'British jobs for British workers'?

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Joined: 14-03-06
Jan 19 2009 14:49

well that's PM's rhetoric and the unions are tied to his party. fucking depressing though. sure the BNP are loving it.

Joined: 8-10-03
Jan 19 2009 16:53

like this

BBC News article

Joined: 12-01-09
Jan 19 2009 17:51

Of course, what they should do if the union was primarily concerned with forwarding workers interests - is call for all the jobs to pay a decent wage and have decent conditions. (Not that the nationality of the workers matters, but if they were forced to pay a decent wage then there wouldn't be any additional incentive for them to hire foreign workers anyway)

Joined: 19-04-06
Jan 19 2009 18:19

You hit the nail on the head there Mike

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Jan 20 2009 13:03

And no foreign adverts for jobs now either - http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/UK_plans_to_ban_foreign_job_ads_to_hit_Indian_jobseekers/articleshow/4004136.cms

Joined: 3-12-07
Jan 29 2009 15:46

more of the same shit:

Hundreds of energy industry contractors have walked out at sites in northern England and Scotland in an escalating protest over the use of foreign labour.

The dispute began at the Lindsey Oil Refinery, North Lincolnshire, on Wednesday after a construction contract was awarded to an Italian firm.

Unions said the contract should have been given to British workers.

In a second day of action, 800 people protested outside the refinery as workers from other sites joined in.

Unite union regional officer Bernard McAuley said workers at the refinery had been joined by hundreds of trade unionists and other supporters from around the UK.

He said: "They've come from all over the country. We reckon there were almost 1,000 people here today.

"We've also had huge numbers of messages of support from people who are incensed by this decision. It's a total mockery.

"There are men here whose fathers and uncles have worked at this refinery, built this refinery from scratch. It's outrageous."

PartyBucket's picture
Joined: 23-03-08
Jan 29 2009 18:23

Not so long ago, if I remember, UNITE, in the rag of a magazine that drops through my letterbocks from time to time, were talking up a proposed merger with a steelworkers union in the USA, in the name of 'international solidarity'. That was pre-economic collapse mind.

Credit crunch populism seems to be more their thing now?