Unite members and fellow trade unionists protested the £800 million energy to waste construction site at Parc Adfer in Deeside north Wales today (April 17) as part of a campaign to stop a ‘race to the bottom’ in pay, conditions and safety at the site.
Campaigners protested outside the Parc Adfer site, demanding that the French contractor CNIM adheres to national construction sector agreements covering pay, terms and conditions.
CNIM has been appointed to deliver the Parc Adfer project by its client, the American firm Wheelabrator, for the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership which is led by Flintshire County Council and includes Conwy County Borough Council, Denbighshire County Council, Gwynedd County Council and Isle of Anglesey County Council.
CNIM and its appointed sub-contractors are refusing to apply national construction agreements and instead using the actual living wage as a minimum in setting pay, leaving workers with potentially 63 per cent less pay.
Unite has been applying pressure on the local authorities involved in the public private partnership and politicians in order to resolve the situation.
As well as undermining national agreements CNIM is, according to Unite, undermining health and safety, welfare provisions, training and limiting the numbers of local labour it employs.
“The ‘race to the bottom’ and undermining of national agreements by CNIM on this public private partnership construction project is shameful,” said Unite regional officer Steve Bension.
“Workers are short changed out of the proper rate for job while industry agreements and health and safety and welfare provisions are being undermined.
“National agreements work for both workers and employers. Workers receive a fair rate of pay and operate in safe environment, while projects are delivered promptly to high standard on budget.
“The local councils involved in the project and Wheelabrator need to take responsibility and tell CNIM to end the ‘race to the bottom’ and start honouring national construction agreements.”