Unite members will be joined by trade unionists to stage a protest at the troubled Park Adfer site in Deeside next Wednesday (30 May) due to the continuing exploitation of the site’s workforce, which is creating a ‘race to the bottom’ on pay and conditions.
Campaigners will protest outside the £800 million energy from waste site from 05:30, in order to further pressurise the French contractor CNIM to adhere to recognised construction sector agreements.
The workforce is being paid as little as £8.75 an hour which means that workers are potentially receiving 63% below the agreed standard construction rate of £17.39 for this type of mechanical engineering construction work.
CNIM has been appointed by American firm Wheelabrator to deliver the Park Adfer project. The client, North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership, 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 pressured local authorities and politicians involved in the project, demanding the companies involved begin paying the correct rates and abide by the correct construction agreement.
When the site is fully operational there will be roughly 300 workers employed on the project.
As well as exploiting workers through paying below industry rates, Unite believes that the contractors are undermining safety, welfare provisions, training and failing to recruit local workers.
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.”