Unions threaten to delay Hinkley nuclear plant construction

Unions have warned the construction of Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station could be delayed if a dispute over bonus payments is not resolved. GMB and Unite will be […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Unions have warned the construction of Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station could be delayed if a dispute over bonus payments is not resolved.

GMB and Unite will be holding a ballot – from May 2nd to May 5th – of their 700 members working at the Somerset site.

The unions argue the bonus rate offered by BYLOR – made up of French firm Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke – is “insufficient to attract the quality of workers needed to ensure the civil works phase of the £18 billion project is completed on time”.

Tim Morris, Unite Regional Officer said: “This poor offer is unacceptable under all of the circumstances and our members came to Hinkley Point under the belief that they would receive excellent pay and bonuses.

“The employers think they can do this ‘on the cheap’ by offering a derisory bonus rate but the workers consider it to be completely inadequate to attract and hold onto the skilled workforce necessary.”

Rob Miguel, Chair of the unions’ Hinkley Point Joint Committee added the project has already suffered delays and it would need a skilled construction workforce to achieve the 2025 start date for electricity generation.

EDF said discussions are ongoing and it intends to reach a “mutually acceptable outcome”.

A spokesperson added: “We have a strong partnership in place with the trade unions based on a set of landmark agreements that include pay and productivity. We share a commitment with them and our contract partners to provide high quality employment standards, alongside the best standard in health, safety, quality and productivity.”