LONDON, August 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Unite the Union have criticised Alstom Power's decision to bring in workers from overseas without giving consideration to the considerable pool of skilled local workers.

Unite have raised concerns on behalf of its construction members regarding health and safety, assurances of rates of pay and concerns relating to local labour availability particularly given the downturn in the construction industry.

The union have been advised that 150 overseas workers will be deployed at the Category 1 power station at Staythorpe near Newark, Nottinghamshire where the main contractor is Alstom Power.

Steve Syson, Unite Regional Officer, said: "In today's difficult economic environment our local construction members will be at a loss as to why the employer is taking this stance.

"Staythorpe is in a very good catchment area for construction workers and the fact that the employer is not utilising this labour pool in the first instance is incredulous, as it would most definitely be cheaper for the company to use local labour."

The Staythorpe Project has defined rates of pay under a national agreement for the engineering construction industry (NAECI) so there will be no savings on employment costs.

Employers and trade unions alike are well aware of the issues that took place at Cottam Power Station where labour was utilised from Hungary and it was discovered that those Hungarian workers were being paid well under the rates of the NAECI National Agreement. This understandably caused outrage with the UK employees on that site and resulted in stoppages of work to ensure that the Hungarian workers were paid the same rates.

Steve Syson went on to say: "If there was a shortage in local labour then the decisions being undertaken could be understandable, but this is clearly not the case and the company have failed to even consider this fact."

For further information please contact Steve Syson on +44(0)7960-091887 or Ashraf Choudhury in the Unite Press Office on 020 7420 8914 or +44(0)7980-224761.