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    Unite Condemns Alstrom's Decision To Allow Subcontractors To Not Use UK Workers At New Power Station In Kent
    By Anna Ohlden | December 16th 2008 09:31 AM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    LONDON, December 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Unite the UK's largest union is outraged at the decision by French multinational Alsthom to allow its sub-contractors not to use local or UK based labour during the construction of a new power station in Kent.

    Alsthom has been contracted by Eon to build a gas-fired power station near Grain in Kent. Unite sought assurances that Alsthom would provide a level playing field for UK workers during the process for sub-contracting by including a clause in the tendering process, that any sub contractor would endeavour to use UK or local labour. Alsthom refused and then appointed Polish construction company, Remak.

    The union fear that Remak will bring in workers from abroad and will not employ any local labour. The contract to build the main boiler for the site is expected to provide work for up to 200 people for a six to nine month period. Unite has called for an urgent meeting with Remak to raise the issue.

    Neil Willoughby, Unite regional officer said: You have a situation where UK customers are paying extortionate energy bills to a German energy giant, who contracts a French multinational to build its new power stations who then employs a Polish subcontractor who, we fear, will bring in workers from abroad instead of giving local workers a chance to apply for work. Who is benefiting from this globalisation? - certainly not UK consumers or workers.

    The situation in Kent follows a similar situation at Staythorpe power station construction site near Newark where in Alsthom appointed two Spanish contracting companies Montpressa and FMM, who informed Unite they had no intention of employing any local labour to undertake the work. Alsthom refused to take any responsibility in who their subcontractors employ.

    Unite has written to the all Kent MPs to seek their support in the union's campaign to ensure UK and local workers are given the opportunity to apply for work at Grain.

    For more information contact: Neil Willoughby Phone +44(0)1622-606-760 or Mobile +44(0)7958-511-563