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Hinkley Point construction workers vote on industrial action

Artist's impression issued by EDF of plans for the  Hinkley Point C nuclear power station
Artist's impression issued by EDF of plans for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

Construction workers on the £20 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power station are to be balloted for strikes in a long-running dispute over pay and bonuses.

Members of Unite and the GMB unions will vote on whether to mount a campaign of industrial action after overwhelmingly rejecting a pay offer.

The row, which started in the spring, involves workers employed by a number of contractors on the site of the new power station, which is being built by French energy giant EDF.

Unite national officer Jerry Swain said: “The unions warned the amount of money being offered was not sufficient and this has proved to be the case.

“The client and contractors need to understand that this is a high-profile, complex project, built in a tightly-controlled secure zone, which is being built in an isolated part of the UK. It cannot and will not be built on the cheap.

“For too long the construction industry has treated workers on civil engineering projects as the poor relations and these attitudes are no longer acceptable.

“There is a window between now and the commencement of any industrial action to still resolve this dispute, provided the client and the contractors come back with an improved offer.”

Phil Whitehurst, GMB national officer, said: “The ballot result is a clear indication that the national officers of both GMB and Unite have to get back round the table with EDF as matter of urgency.

“We will be seeking meetings with EDF as soon as possible to solve this situation on behalf of our members.”

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