Hundreds expected to protest outside Deeside construction site this week
Trade Union representatives say hundreds of construction workers are expected to take part in the latest protest at the £800m Parc Adfer energy from waste construction site.
Unite say its members and those from other trade unionists will stage the protest at the site on Deeside Industrial Park on Wednesday from 5.30am.
The protest is over what Unite claim is the “continuing exploitation of the site’s workforce, which is creating a ‘race to the bottom’ on pay and conditions.”
The union claims those working on the construction of the new incinerator plant are being paid as little as £8.75 an hour “which means that workers are potentially receiving 63 per cent below the agreed standard construction rate of £17.39 for this type of mechanical engineering construction work.” Unite says.
CNIM has been appointed by American firm Wheelabrator to deliver the Park Adfer project on behalf of their client, North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership which is led by Flintshire county council and includes Conwy borough council, Denbighshire county council, Gwynedd county council and Isle of Anglesey county council.
Unite has been applying pressure on the local authorities involved in the project and local politicians to demand the companies involved to begin paying the correct rates and abiding by the correct construction agreement.
Unite regional officer Steve Benson said: “It is appalling that workers are being exploited through low pay on a project ultimately funded by the taxpayer.
“Unite has been working to resolve the exploitation on the site but we have been met with warm words but no action.
Workers are receiving a pittance compared to what they should be receiving for the work they are undertaking.
By failing to comply with the correct industrial agreements the companies are undermining pay rates across the entire industry and creating a race to the bottom.
The local authorities need to stop pretending to look the other way and to take responsibility for the exploitation and misery that is being created on their watch.”
CNIM has hit back at Unite’s claims, a spokesperson for the French company said:
“The claim that CNIM excludes local workers is also not true. We held a jobs fair in May, which was attended by more than 150 people and since then, we have had an additional 120 people express interest in contracts.
Many of these contracts are still not yet let so to suggest they are not going to local companies or workers is clearly wrong.
We have been working according to the Welsh Government Code of Conduct, which sets out best practice for projects like this.
This position is supported by the Unions and we also require our sub-contractors to work to the same guidelines.
There are 30 local companies who are currently or have been employed on site, and there will be more to come.
CNIM does not compromise health and safety on its sites and we dispute that health and safety, welfare provision and training is being undermined at Parc Adfer.
We have had inspections from the local authority and HSE, which were exemplary.”
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