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20/04/2017

Row Erupts Over Bonus Payments To Hinkley Point C Workers

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A row has erupted over bonus payments to 700 construction workers building the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset.

It is understood the BYLOR consortium, made up of the French company Bouygues TP and Laing O'Rourke, have failed to pay the bonus rate in line with a previously agreed HPC Civil Construction agreement.

According to unions Unite and GMB, the consortium is offering an "insufficient" bonus rate which will fail to attract the quality of workers needed to ensure the civil works phase of the multi-billion scheme is delivered on time.

Both Unite and GMB will hold a consultative ballot of the 700-strong workforce preparing the groundworks at the site, which will run between 02 – 05 May.

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Unite regional officer and chair of the HPC joint union committee, Rob Miguel, said if the vote leads to a full-scale industrial action ballot, the entire £18bn project could face expensive delays.

"The Hinkley Point nuclear power station is key to the future energy needs of the UK," he said.

"The project has already suffered delays and to achieve the 2025 start date for electricity generation a skilled construction workforce is required."

"If the consultative ballot eventually leads to full-scale industrial action ballot, we could be looking at delays to the construction at Hinkley Point, which will be very expensive for the employers as hired-in plant and machinery will be lying idle.

"We would urge the employers to get back around the table with senior union officials to achieve a fair settlement, so building can continue to the highest standard, safely and on schedule."

GMB regional officer Adie Baker said: "GMB members are not prepared to accept this derisory offer on bonus payments that also threatens health and safety standards on site."

(LM/MH)

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