Posted: Fri 17th Nov 2017

Councils hit back at Trade Union claims over Parc Adfer waste facility on Deeside Industrial Estate

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Nov 17th, 2017

North Wales local authorities have hit back over claims made by GMB and Unite Unions they are ‘betraying’ the local workforce constructing Parc Adfer, the £800m waste treatment facility being built on Deeside Industrial Estate.

Parc Adfer is being built under a contract on behalf of five of the North Wales local authorities through the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The group say comments say comments made by the Trade Union representatives are “a distortion and are not helpful in developing respectful relations,” and have advised union members not to take part in unofficial protests near to the Parc Adfer site which “both cause disruption to local businesses and are a danger to road safety.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

NWRWTP awarded Wheelabrator Technologies Inc (WTI) the contract to build and operate the facility. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“WTI is a reputable company with a growing portfolio of waste treatment facilities in the United Kingdom.” NWRWTP say. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Unite and the GMB have accused group of council’s of ‘betraying’ the local workforce, they say CNIM the principal building contractor WTI has employed on the project, “has a history of poor relationships with trade unions in the UK, and has refused to allow unions access to the site.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Trade Union have accused CNIM and its supply chain of failing to engage local workers on the project and some of the work is expected to be given to overseas contractors. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Unite and the GMB claim the company is refusing to abide by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), which means that the workers employed on the site are not receiving the correct pay and conditions for the work they are conducting. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“If workers are brought in from overseas then legally the company only has to pay the national minimum wage which is a 63.5 per cent cut in wages compared to the NAECI agreement.” A joint GMB and Unite statement says. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The unions have written to the local authorities involved in the project about their concerns but have not received a response. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The two unions say they will now be stepping up the pressure on CNIM and local councils to ensure “workers are paid the appropriate rates for the work undertaken and also skilled local workers are fully given opportunities to work on the project.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Two protests have already taken at the site in recent months, they brought early morning traffic on the industrial estate to a standstill and closed Flintshire Bridge, the latest protest was November 7. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In statement on behalf on the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project a spokesperson responded saying;

The Partnership [NWRWTP], whilst not responsible for WTI’s contracting arrangements for the construction of the site, has encouraged WTI to support local supply chains and employment markets through its procurement and contracting. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

NWRWTP has encouraged WTI and CNIM to maintain an open relationship with the Trade Unions, and facilitated a meeting of all parties earlier this year at the Unions’ request. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

All five councils in the Partnership recently received a letter from Unite. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire made a collective reply on behalf of all five. A local on-site meeting between WTI and CNIM was arranged for 11 October. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This meeting was cancelled by the Trade Unions at short notice, and CNIM offered an alternative date which was declined. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It is disappointing that the facts are being wrongly presented by this commentary to the media. We have asked that WTI and CNIM again meet with the Trade Unions and they have agreed to do so. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Some of the comments made are a distortion and are not helpful in developing respectful relations where dialogue is possible. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

We again request the Unions to advise their members against taking part in unofficial protests near to the Parc Adfer site which both cause disruption to local businesses and are a danger to road safety.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Unite national officer for construction Bernard McAulay said:

“Our joint talks with CNIM failed to achieve a way forward but we are not going to stand idly by and allow workers to be mistreated and exploited. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Trade unions feel the North Wales councils have betrayed the local community – and spend more time on box-ticking exercises rather than promoting job opportunities in the surrounding communities. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It is essential that local people realise what is being done in their name and clearly say that what is happening on Deeside is not acceptable. It is totally immoral that these practices are being conducted on a public sector contract. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

There has already been local protests about the way this project is being conducted and without an agreement similar disruptive activity could re-occur.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Image: James Ford Design Ltd ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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