GMB To Ballot Engineering Construction Members For Strike Action At Power Station And Oil Refinery Sites

The objective of this dispute is to eliminate discrimination, unfair treatment and exploitation in this industry of workers wherever they come from

16 Jul 2009

GMB today announced that it will conduct an official strike ballot of engineering construction members working in the building and maintenance of Britain’s power stations and oil refinery sites. Members working for contractors at the following sites will be balloted:- BP FPS Grangemouth and Ineos Grangemouth in Scotland, Sellafield, Shell UK Stanlow and Staythorpe RWE in Nottinghamshire and Chevron Pembroke and Aberthaw in Wales. Unite will also ballot its members on the same sites with the same timetable.

Local GMB officers will write to contractors at these sites to give notice of the ballot by 4th August. The ballot will run from 11th August 2009 and end on 1st September. Any agreed industrial action following shortly after.

GMB, and Unite, is to ballot its members because the employer’s body, the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA) has rejected the unions key demands for improvements to the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), which would deliver fairness and long term stability to the sector. There is a scheduled meeting of the NJC on 4th August.

The ballot follows months of industrial unrest and unofficial action at sites across the country due to unscrupulous employers refusing local workers access to apply for work and undercutting the NAECI agreement.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said,

“The anger and frustration felt by both workers and bona fida employers in the engineering construction industry at the miss-use and exploitation of migrant labour has now been boiling over for many months as witnessed on several sites across the country.

The objective of this dispute is to eliminate discrimination, unfair treatment and exploitation in this industry of workers where ever they come from. A robust and transparent auditing process is the only way of forcing these employers to break from their bad habits. This is not a skills issue, this is not a foreign worker issue, it is about fairness and adhering to agreed standards.”

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary added. “The employers at the NJC on the 4th August have the scope to avert this dispute. They need to agree to changes in the national agreement that will benefit the workforce and introduce fairness for all those who work in this vital industry.

A GMB Press release