Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop M.P. today (May 4th 2016) will be formally asking in the House of Commons for changes to law to enable planning authorities to impose conditions on new power plant construction in the UK which will secure what is called the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) terms and conditions for construction workers on those sites.
This follows a high profile series of disputes on new ‘waste to energy’ incineration plants at plants on Wilton International and Seal Sands over what are seen as ‘wage undercutting’ by main contractors and sub-contractors.
Tom said: “Many construction workers have lobbied me, and fellow Teesside MP’s on this matter. It is clear that there has been undercutting and clear breaches of terms and conditions which have long been seen as standard in the industry. This drives skilled workers away from the industry and – in the long run – lowers the skill base of UK contracting, leaving the field open for overseas firm to scoop the market.
“I am proposing that all power generating plants, energy from waste plants and Biomass Power Plants which produce under 50MW are to be built utilising sector specific collective National Agreements, such as the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) terms and conditions. This can easily be done by widening the scope of existing planning law.
“Projects with a generating capacity of less than 50MW are considered under the provision of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and therefore can be dealt with by local authorities. Adding the power to insert conditions relating to wages and terms of employment for workers on these sites can both add to public acceptance of these proposals, and can improve the quality of working life for local construction workers.
“This Bill would put terms and conditions on a firm legal footing which would give workers and their Trades Unions a solid and unbreakable guarantees of fairness.”