Point C faces new strike threat over pay dispute
of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Burnham-On-Sea could
be delayed again, after trade unions for construction staff working
on the £20bn project this week announced a ballot for strike
action in a dispute over pay.
than 95% of members balloted by the GMB and Unite unions rejected
a pay increase offered by the French energy firm EDF and its contractor
Bylor following months of discussions.
extension of the labour dispute risks further time and cost overruns
for what is Europe's largest construction project, which is already
running over budget and behind schedule.
staff at outsourcing group Capita are to go on strike for six days
from 5th October amid changes to the companys pension scheme
that will result in a 'massive cut' to their retirement income,
in the year, EDF announced that the cost of Hinkley C had risen
from £18bn to £20.3bn and that construction of the plant
would also be delayed by 15 months, adding that it might not start
producing electricity until 2027.
action was initially called off in June following an interim deal
over bonus payments being reached in the hope that a permanent agreement
avoiding any further delays at the site could be reached.
have broken down and both GMB and Unite now intend to ballot members
over strike action regarding the employment terms of more than 1,000
main complaint is that the civil engineering contracts are "significantly
below" the rates of workers on mechanical and engineering deals.
have made their views clear; the unions warned the amount of money
being offered was not sufficient and this has proved to be the case,"
said Jerry Swain, Unite's national construction officer. "The
unions are fully prepared to return to the negotiating table if
an improved offer is put forward."
Energy says it's "disappointed" and that it had offered
increased pay, bonuses and benefits as part of a package that was
"fair and reasonable". "The terms and conditions
of employment at Hinkley Point C are superior to anything you will
find in the UK construction industry," it adds.