10 Days Remaining

Friday 21st
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

CONSTRUCTION work at Hinkley Point nuclear power station could be delayed by a row over bonus payments, unions warned yesterday.

Members of GMB and Unite among the 700-strong workforce are set to vote in a consultative ballot next month on a call for strike action.

The £18 billion nuclear power plant is being built by French energy company EDF and will be part owned by China General Nuclear Power Group, a public-sector business.

Development of Hinkley Point C was paused last July for a review by Prime Minister Theresa May, before construction resumed in September.

The unions are in dispute with the Bylor consortium — comprising Bouyges TP and Laing O’Rourke — over a failure to pay bonus rates in line with the HPC Civil Construction agreement.

They argue that the bonus rate offered by Bylor is insufficient to attract the quality of workers needed to complete the £18 billion project on time.

Unite regional officer Rob Miguel, who also chairs the HPC joint union committee, warned that failure to reach a settlement would lead to industrial action, which would prove “very expensive for the employers as hired-in plant and machinery will be lying idle.”

He added: “The scheme has already been plagued by delays over its financing and can’t afford any further interruptions.”

For the 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.”

The unions have urged bosses to return to the negotiating table.