UK: Cottam power station wildcat strike

Fifteen men have been sacked due to a wildcat strike last week at Cottam power station near Lincoln.

Submitted by Steven. on March 1, 2006

Fifty-one British engineers, electricians and welders walked out last week on wildcat due to underpayment of Hungarian workers employed on a desulphurisation project at the plant. Amicus' regional officer Bernard McAulay said the workers had been underpaid £1m by Austrian subcontractor SFL.

SFL had told workers at the plant not to discuss wages and conditions, and overtime work was only allocated to the Hungarians. But after discussions they soon discovered they had worse conditions than the British workers. As they started to join the GMB, each worker who did so was transferred to other jobs back on the continent, but welder Barnabas Bito paid for a flight back to the UK to explain to the British workers that the Hungarians were being victimised.

The GMB and Amicus repudiated the action due to the lack of an official ballot.

Nineteen British construction workers immediately walked out. They were joined by scaffolders and laggers. However fifteen were sacked by registered letter on Friday.

The Nottingham evening post spoke to one striker as he recieved his dismissal letter. He said: "Given the action we have taken, I was expecting it.

"Under an agreement, everyone coming in should be on the same pay."

Cottam power station is operated by EDF energy. There was another wildcat strike at the plant in December 2004 after scaffolding collapsed injuring one worker.

If you or someone you know is involved in the strike, or you live nearby, please get in touch at admin (at)